I grew up going camping and have always enjoyed it. Scott, however, has not been excited at the prospect of us spending a weekend in the woods sleeping 7 in a tent together. A few months ago, one of our neighbors started planning a camping weekend for the people in our neighborhood and I told her I definitely wanted to go with the kids, even if Scott wasn't up for it (what was I thinking!). Luckily he graciously agreed to go! We spent the weekend at Fort DeSoto with several other couples/families from the neighborhood and our family had our first experience tent camping together, 15 adults and 13 kids. We LOVED it - even Scott enjoyed himself!
We borrowed camping gear from some other friends, and everyone pooled together camping stoves, utensils, lanterns, flashlights, etc. We also all decided on a menu ahead of time so that one person could handle all the food shopping and we all split up the cost between us, just like we did with the cost of the campsites. It was a lot easier that way and seemed to work well - we all ate the same food so the kids weren't whining about wanting what their friends had and we didn't end up with a ton of leftovers to store in the coolers. Everyone was responsible for bringing their own drinks and snacks. And there were s'mores involved, how can that be wrong?!?
We checked Caleb out of school early Friday and left at about 2 to head over there. Several of us were going early to help set everything up so people weren't pitching tents in the dark. One of the sites was our communal eating/campfire site and we spent most of our time there with everyone. Friday night was a little dicey sleep-wise... I think we were up about once an hour between different kids waking up and noises outside. Caleb was sleeping next to us in a small tent with 2 of his friends so every little noise outside startled me. Lillian had come down with a cold and was coughing all night. Ella and Jackson wake up every night at home so nothing changed for them at the campground, and it is much more noticeable when kids climb onto your queen-sized air mattress than your king bed at home! We didn't bring a pack n play for Noah because we weren't sure if there would be room in the tent, but he did surprisingly well. He does wake up really early, though. At home I just leave him to talk and play in his bed for a little while (which he loves), but that wasn't an option at the campground. Luckily there wasn't a shortage of coffee for Saturday morning!
Saturday was spend relaxing and hanging out. A few of us took some of the kids on a mid-morning walk around the campground and to the playground. After that we all visited the fort and spend some time on the beach and at the pier. I had walked there with Noah and Jackson in the stroller and three other ladies. Scott kindly let me jog back to the campground when we were done, so it was nice to get some exercise in.
Saturday night was a lot better sleep-wise. My dad came over to get Lillian who wasn't feeling well and wanted to go home, and he brought us a pack n play for Noah since there was plenty of room in the tent. We got a pretty good night's sleep, aside from Noah's 5:30 wake-up time when he started singing "Happy Birthday" and mooing very loudly like a cow. So cute! We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then everyone started breaking down everything to get ready for 11 AM check-out. Our original plan was for me to leave after breakfast with all the kids and let Scott stay behind and help with everything, but all the kids were playing so well together we decided to stay and ride back as a family. Everyone else stopped to visit a big flea market nearby but we decided to come back and get everything unpacked because our date night was last night and we wanted to be done before then.
We may make this an annual event. I would love to go again, and hopefully a year from now the sleeping situation will be a little bit better! I think the adults may be outnumbered next year since there are some babies on the way (not for us, but for some of our neighbors). Can't wait to get my hands on those babies and can't wait to camp again!
We all filled a trailer and truck bed - a lot of stuff had already been unloaded when I took these pictures
Playing at the campground playground
The view walking to the fort
Ella and her favorite Mrs. Christy
Playing in the water and hunting for shells
Lots of bike and scooter riding at the campsite (kids and grown-ups alike!)
I'm sure this cutie will be out there riding next year!
The view from our communal eating campsite
Walking to the bridge to watch people fish
Where we spent our evenings