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One With Nature

I have always been a camper, in fact, much of my camping life has been spent roughing it with a backpack and small tent and I have enjoyed it just fine.  I have to admit that after this past long weekend of camping, I think I am turning a little soft and the idea of “glamping” is far more appealing to me.

Hubby and I took three of the grandkids camping for their very first time over labor day weekend.  We went about an hour out of London, Ontario to a campground called Backus Heritage Conservation Area in the Port Rowan, Ontario area.  HERE

The grandkids are currently 6, 4, and 3 years old, a girl and two boys.  We also brought our two doggies Poppy and Ruby.

I took a week to plan out the schedule of activities and menu so that everything would run smoothly and even found a couple of great camping hacks on Pinterest.

We brought our large tent which sleeps 12 and our new screen tent for dining in.  The kids were given tasks to help set the tent up and the screen tent was a piece of cake to set up, honestly could have been done by one person alone.

We kept our first dinner pretty basic roasting weenies and marshmallows over the fire.

The temperatures dropped overnight and although we slept on a blow-up mattress and with sleeping bags and lots of blankets, even the dogs were chilly and climbed in bed with our granddaughter.

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We had boiled eggs and bacon, beans and toast for breakfast the first morning cooked over the campfire.  The second morning varied a bit with scrambled eggs and cheese, toast, beans, and sausages. The third morning we kept it simple and ate fruit and yogurt, cheese sticks and juice.

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Dinners were fun.  The second night we had campfire quesadillas. HERE and the third night, campfire mini pizzas. HERE

Snacks were also made over the campfire and consisted of good ol’ fashioned smores, and Jiffy Pop Popcorn the first two nights.

On our last night there we made campfire cones but added Skittles to the cones as well as the marshmallow, chocolate, and peanut butter. HERE

The days were hot and sweaty.  There is no escaping the heat when you are staying in a tent.  We took the kids fishing…

We cooled off with ice cream at a local shop.  The boys had Super Hero Icecream which they claimed tasted just like Super Hero’s! And the little miss stuck with her vanilla!

We went for a hike and found a playground, and explored a bit of the heritage village at Backus.

and… we spent an afternoon at the Deer Creek Beach!

I put together a few campsite games and activities as well to keep everyone amused.  There were sand toys and a sketch book and pencil crayons for quiet times, as well as books read around the campfire at night.  Each child was given a flashlight for bed time in the tent.  I purchased glow sticks at the dollar store and turned them into rings with the help of a little Duct Tape, and they became a night time ring toss game using the horseshoe pits!  We also blew up balloons and used fly swatters as rackets for a lively game of balloon tennis. I found some Nature Scavenger Hunt sheets on Pinterest and printed them off before we left.  We sent them on a hunt with a bucket for the items on the sheets.  When some items became a little tough to find we helped out with the “hot and cold” clues.

It got a little tricky when we arrived and discovered they had just posted a do not drink the water warning unless it is boiled, and then on the second day, the public washrooms closest to us had to be closed down because of a malfunction, which meant quite a hike to the next closest one.  Everyone was quickly instructed in how to pee in the woods!  Unfortunately, that also resulted in all three kids deciding that if peeing in the woods is ok, then having a poop must be too…..whoops.  The little miss was brave enough to use leaves to clean up and fortunately they weren’t poison ivy!  The boys, however, announced it over their walkie-talkies for all of the campground to hear and had to have some help with some wipes.

For late night bathroom trips, I put together one of these genius camping hacks found on Pinterest.

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Next time I think I might like one of these…

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Everyone had a great time but by the fourth day we were all tired and cranky and the heat was unbearable and the tear down was time-consuming.  We were all anxious to get home.

Points to ponder:  I think my $60 air mattress is more comfortable than my $3000 adjustable bed.  My hubby is a bit of a wuss when it comes to the site of his own blood.  I am definitely going to turn Thelma the camper boutique into Thelma the glamper for next seasons camping trips!

 

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