Thursday, February 26, 2009


Last fall the kids and I went camping on what I was sure to be a first and a last trip. We were spending 2 nights in Highland Forest atop of a small mountain. Despite my enthusiasm for the event I had no real idea what to expect from the kids. Michael waxed and waned about wanting to go and not wanting to go-fear of the unknown was his demon. Meagan didn’t want to be homesick, but I’m still not sure that she knew what that meant. MY concern for them was the lack of 21st century modern niceties: electricity, tv, Spongebob, the computer; not to mention running water and indoor plumbing. But we prepped like we were pros and packed as if we were going to the Arctic Tundra (not a far cry from Syracuse in very late October). The nay-sayers placed bets on how fast we’d come home.

Not only did we stay the whole weekend (we were among the last of our homeschooling group to leave) but both kids cried while I packed up the car to go home. They wanted to stay “forever” was how they put it. These were my kids-who I usually have to beg to clean their rooms. Put them in a forest and they were actually offering other families to fetch stacks of wood for their fires and shuttle buckets of water from the pump. Maybe it was the mountain air….

So this spring and summer I am planning a great adventure for my pioneers and me. We are going to explore this whole camping thing and be little nomads on and off. Our first camping trip will be back to the forest in early spring with our homeschooling friends again. We then have a trip planned for Herkimer Diamond Mines where we will excavate and camp for two days. For a planned family reunion weekend in Pennsylvania this July, we will again bring the tent to the overcrowded lakehouse we will share with my mother’s entire family before we spin off for two days to Sesame Place and the Crayola factory- tent in hand and Dad in tow! (that will be a first!)
While Michael attends summer camp in July we hope to pop in a few local weekend trips. In August when we make one of our quarterly trips to Long Island to see the family, the tent will come along and the kids will get to camp on the beach among other places. August also holds a potential multi-day trip with some friends through the Adirondacks. By the time September comes my little gypsies and I will hopefully be camping experts and head up to Lake George for some fall foliage before heading back down to Long Island for the birth of their new cousin and some camping in the pine barrens. Now as for October---my plan is to find a pumpkin farmer who will let us camp amongst the giant orange orbs, before rounding out the camping season back in Highland Forest for another homeschooling camping trip.

We are currently researching tents and trying to find one that offers the most flexibility for our needs. There are several ones that peeked my interest especially one that can enclose the trunk of my minivan into it to offer the van as another bedroom. We are also planning on some delicious Freeze Dried foods (YUM…*sarcasm*) to make the transporting of food and cooking easier.
My hope is that by next November, my newly purchased tent is threadbare, my Coleman stove has gone through 20 tanks of gas, and it will be January before we get all the dirt out from under our nails. A few blisters here and there would just be a bonus!!


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