Camping the mixture of finding peace in your surroundings and trying maintain your sanity as kids do kid things all around you. A total of three campsites, all holding a total of 17 people and three dogs. Of those 17 people the kids outnumber the adults. To say things can get a big crazy is an understatement. Each year we tend to “lose” a kid when they decide to go on a walkabout all by themselves. On a one of our trips one of the cousins was brought back by the camp ranger. Needless to say the parents have heart attacks the other adults jump onto their bikes (cause it’s easier to maneuver with them) and we search until found. Meals are planned beforehand and each family is responsible for at least a dinner and breakfast, and whatever is not covered the grandparents provide for, it’s a great way for us all to take responsibility for all the food that has to be available to feed the masses. Sitting as a big family unit of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents teaches the kids the importance of family and eating all their food so s’mores can happen later.
Today is officially day one of camping, we all arrived yesterday at various times throughout the day and broke the tradition of having rain on our first day, though we did have to get through a small storm just to get to the campground we are staying in. Once we arrived the teenage boys a little bit down from where we had set up saw that our campsite had three teenage girls and they started circling like hawks to their prey. They played football in the road in front of our sites, they sat on the tables in campsites near us, they even carved new paths in the brush behind our sites just to catch they one of one of the girls. When all that didn’t work they resorted to “befriending” the younger brother to no avail. Finally being forced to give up due to us adults getting tired of their tactics they moved on to bigger and better things like food and biking around the campground.
All was quite after breakfast, a little too quiet with 11 kids to look after, and then the roll call starts, all accounted for this time which means getting ready for the beach. Low tide at 10 so we rush to get ready. Did you know that at low tide you can find starfish and that when kids find them with buckets they try and collect as many as possible? Those poor starfish went from having a nice peaceful day in the morning sun to being collected into ice cream buckets to being put back into the waves. I bet they had quite the headache after this morning. Braving the waves made us all realize that a quieter setting in a cove is a much better way to spend the afternoon. Crazy how that works, we face the day looking forward to a low maintenance kind of day and we end up like the starfish tossed and turned with the activities that get thrown at us, trying to hold on until we somehow get back home safe and sound.
Campfires tend to be the ending activity of our nights camping. We form the customary circle of chairs around the fire anxiously waiting for the grandparents to bring out the yummy ingredients for s’mores. There is activity going on all around while dishes get done, games get finished and the last bike rides around the campsite are completed. The campfire talks are some of the best, we laugh about the crazy antics of the day, talk about the news around town and discuss the plans for the next day. We move our chairs around to avoid the smoke and guess at what kid is going to come out with their marshmallow on fire. Most of all we enjoy each other’s company and forget about our everyday lives if just for a moment.
I think getting away is one of the best things to do and if you can do it with the ones you love it makes it so much better. I also think that getting away from the ones you love even for an hour or two is perfect for your soul. I love getting to a place of peace where I can talk to God continuously, I have found that of everyone I know He is the only one that knows my every thought and knows my heart. There is joy in that cause though I love my family, nieces and nephews, in-laws and siblings there is just a need to get away to find my heart again. Until next time:
Finding the peace in the chaotic around you is the best way to show the joy that you have within you.