Yep…you read that right. My family went camping for the first time over the weekend. My son has been a Cub Scout for the past three years but due to rainy weather his pack had only camped inside for the previous two years. But this year there was no rain in the forecast and a campout was scheduled.
Now I was a Girl Scout as a kid and I had been camping once before. But that was when I was in the 4th Grade and I was too young to be scared about the what if’s. Like what if a crazy person popped out the woods wearing a clown suit (have you’ll heard about the clown sightings). Or what if there is an unexpected rain shower. Or what if there is a snake or some other critter lurking around. Although I was nervous I didn’t want to discourage my kids from wanting to camp outdoors.
My son sometimes does not embrace new experiences. So he kept going back and forth about whether or not he actually wanted to sleep in the tent the whole night. However, one of his requirements is to help set up a tent. So we knew that we were going to buy a tent and take it to the campsite to set it up. We also just planned as if we were going to stay overnight because there were other requirements that he had to complete during the campout.
On Friday, we spent most of the day getting ready to go camping. We packed up our sleeping bags, camping chairs, pillows, blanket jammies, food, clothes, toothbrushes, and everything else we thought we might need. The back of my husband’s SUV was full and I still forgot to pack a few things.
When we made it to the campsite we all helped set up our tent. We had practiced earlier that day, so it was easy putting up the tent.
After, we set up the tent it was time to get started on dinner. My son’s den had to help out with preparing dinner. I brought our kid knives and some cutting mats with us so the boys could make a fruit salad for the pack’s dinner. Dinner also included grilled hot dogs, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, chips, and carrots sticks.
After dinner, it was dark and we started preparing for the camp fire show. One of the Cub Scout’s dad was an Eagle Scout so he built a fire and went over fire safety rules with the scouts. My son’s den performed “Do Your Ears Hang Low” for their show performance. After the performances, we roasted marshmallows and had smores. By this time it was after 9pm and my kids were ready to go to sleep.
We were the first family to go to our tent and get ready for bed. I got the kids dressed in their blanket jammies and read them a story that they brought along. After reading they got in their sleeping bags and started settling down. Now this was the part of the night where I was expecting one of them to say they wanted to go home and sleep in their beds (saving me from spending a night in a tent). But nope, to my surprise they both fell asleep within 30 minutes and never asked to go home.
After they both fell asleep I knew I was going to have to face my fears and get ready to sleep in the tent for the whole night. I also realized at this time that also meant I was going to have to wake up sometime in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom all by myself. Because I hardly ever sleep the entire night without waking up to go to the potty because I drink water ALL day. Even though I tried not to drink as much that night it still happened. I woke up around 2 am with the urge to pee. I tried my best to hold it, but after about 30 minutes I felt like I was going to end up with some type of infection if I didn’t go to the potty soon.
Luckily, our tent wasn’t that far away from the bathrooms, probably like 20 to 30 feet. But even that short distance in the dark was scary to me. I was afraid that I was going to cross paths with some nocturnal animal while walking to the bathroom. Thankfully, I didn’t see anything and I made it there and back safely.
The campsite that we were at was in a more rural part of our county. But I still wasn’t expecting to hear roosters crowing at 4 am. Luckily, I was able to go back to sleep. We started hearing other families waking up around 6:30 am. So at 7 am we woke the kids up and celebrated the fact that we made survived camping outdoors.
After getting dressed we met up with the other families to start making breakfast, which was eggs in a bag. However, there was also doughnuts and granola bars to snack on too. While the eggs were being boiled back a the campsite by our Pack Leader. The rest our pack walked over to a nearby volunteer fire station and toured the fire engines.
After we finished our tour we headed back to our campsite to eat eggs. Then we took down our tents and clearned up the campsite. Once the campsite was cleaned up. We walked over to a nearby pond to go fishing. My kids really wanted to catch a fish, but neither one of them would let their lines stay in the water long enough for a fish to notice their bait.
After about 30 minutes my daughter and I got tired of standing in the sun and went back to the campsite to sit in the shade. My husband and son continued to fish for another 30 minutes, but they didn’t catch anything.
Overall, we had a lot of fun camping and we will definitely go again.