Camping With Kids

Hola Mi Amigos,

Here we are at the beginning of a new week.  I can still smell our weekend around the house as I type.  Now this could be good or bad, depending on what bag you open and unpack from our camping trip.  Most of the stinky laundry has already been processed by my wonderful wife.  The remaining smell comes from the campfire smoke that is baked into our luggage and random items we brought back in the house.

I will confess, I love the outdoors and would live in a tent in the mountains all the time if I could.  However with having to be a responsible adult, not exactly the most practical approach to parenting.  Funny thing about living in the hills in a tent, usually doesn’t bring in much for a living.  At least I haven’t found a way yet.

This past trip we camped near Clear Lake off the McKenzie Highway in Oregon’s beautiful Cascade mountain range.  Now if any of you would like to argue you live in the best part of the country, come and have a taste of Gods country up in these hills.  This is what drew me back to Oregon, it is absolutely beautiful and is perfect for a lifetime of memories and experiences.  I have had many a summer up in these hills camping, fishing and hiking around.  Hands down this is the best place to be.

This brings me to my point of today, TAKE YOUR KIDS CAMPING!

Why take kids out on an adventure that takes hours to pack up the car, unpack, setup and then repack all for about a day of camping?  Its the experience…..not so much the journey getting there.  Not only are you getting your kids out of the normal routing of rush around, electronic gadgets and constant inputs; but you are helping them to realize the world and the people around them.  This is a time to help kids experience something different, possibly getting them to look a different parts of life in different ways.

This past weekend we were up in the Cascades up at a body of water called Clear Lake.  I have spent many a summer as a kid there and have strong fond memories of my parents and I truly bonding through the experience.  It was also an adventure and a sense of freedom.  I walked through the woods to explore, I fished the lakes in my own raft and helped build a fire to cook on.  Kids, no matter what age, can get this kid of experience and grow through the years with a strong sense of self worth and understanding. Camping gives a kid the opportunity to explore in an environment that isn’t constantly pulling them in numerous directions.  It gives them time to have fun without any extra things to enhance there play.  You get to see how your kids use there imaginations, creativity and personalities to explore the world around them.

Watching my kids this past weekend was fun, and yes a bit stressful, but very rewarding in the end.  I got to show them some of my old stomping grounds around the lake and share some of my knowledge of nature.  My oldest was a bit sick, but he so loved coming back to the camp site to warm up by a nice fire.  The middles were running around in the woods near by playing bears and decorating small trees with moss for Christmas.  My youngest was absolutely enthralled by all that she encountered.  I don’t think her eyes have ever been so wide as when we would go on our hikes through the woods.  She would giggle, scream and want to touch everything.  Good thing we didn’t find any poison oak.

I hope and pray that you get the chance to go camping if you never have, doubly so for your family.  It will be stressful as life always is, but the times in between are amazing and can be relaxing.  We didn’t have any cell service the whole time we were in the mountains, and it felt great.  Once we got back into town I had over 30 new emails, 25 text messages and several missed calls.  I didn’t miss any of that one bit.  Sometimes its just nice to unplug and go on an adventure.

Go out and find your adventure!

Oh, and bring the kids.


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