A few thoughts about camping:
1. Seriously, I must really love these kids to take them camping, because a large part of the appeal of camping eludes me. Basically, camping involves taking all the technological improvements made over the last 200 years and chucking them out the window with two hands: No dishwasher, no flush toilets, no soft beds, no heat or air conditioning -- all the things that make life better now, we leave behind when we go camping. Basically, we become Amish for a few days. And you know how much fun the the Amish have.
2. If you are spatially challenged, be sure to get your sister to put up your tent. That's just common sense.
|Sticking your sister with tent duty is especially smart if it starts|
raining while she is putting up the tent.
3. You can tell your children that marshmallows taste good even if they catch on fire, but they are not going to believe you.
|This is the face of a child who is learning a hard life lesson about burnt marshmallows.|
4. Camping is mostly about s'mores. This chart shows what my kids think about while on camping trips:
And speaking of s'mores, they are even better when you slightly melt the chocolate. This is easy to do when you are using a camp stove (hey, something invented in the last 200 years!) rather than a camp fire. Just lay the chocolate bits on the graham cracker and set the whole package near the flame so the chocolate has a chance to get nice and soft while you are roasting the marshmallow, like this:
|Best practices is s'more preparation|
The melty chocolate and gooey marshmallows really optimize the s'more experience. Plus, the melted chocolate gives the kids a chance to get not just really dirty and sticky, but really quite stupendously dirty and sticky. Thank goodness for wet wipes on camping trips, is all I can say, and don't tell me that people from 200 years ago didn't have wet wipes. Of course they had wet wipes. What do you think they used to clean their hands after they plucked the chickens and milked the cows? Wet wipes are essential for any camping trip, and everybody knows that. I hope Will and Kate know it too.