Camping with Small Kids! It CAN Be Done!

Nate has a steady, constant beat to his routine. Like a train. Like a metronome. He has a consistent pace. I, on the other hand, live in bursts and stops as evidenced by the fact that our pantry contains five varieties of tortilla chips one week and none the next. Or evidenced by the fact that we haven’t posted a life update since May! Here goes…

This weekend was a literal mess. A big, beautiful, wonderful, dirt and marshmallow mess! It was also a victory. We camped in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park with our 4yr old, 2yr old, and my 8mo pregnant self, along with six other dear families and their children.

I love that “church” can happen in a relic cathedral, or in an old gymnasium, or sometimes it happens sitting around a campfire, sharing beer and foil pack dinners among adults and trading go-gurt flavors among the kids.

We hiked to some water falls where the little ones waded and baked mudpies in a frigid, still pool, where the big kids scootched and flopped their way down some ripples over the rocks, and where the biggest kids of all (the adults) jumped off a little cliff into the pools below.



This face! This is the piercing face we receive from our 4yr old sometimes that makes Nate and I look at eachother and mutter silent, desperate prayers of, “Dear God, help! Help us know how to parent her! Help us give her what she needs this day.”

We explored wood-peckered trees and heat-zoned our way through a presentation on owls by the Raptor Institute who stopped by our campground for an educational demonstration.

My boys checking out those noisy woodpeckers in the tree. And our little friend, Noah, who is a floppy bundle of boy and shyness.

Here’s to the power of persistence. Going on a group camping trip has been a dream years in the making. We purposefully chose somewhere about an hour’s drive away so that families could bail if needed. Thankfully, the kids were all so tired from their adventures each night that they were practically begging to leave the s’more-making and climb into the tent!

And now, because we know we can do it and because I’m always looking for bigger and better…I have approximately 362 days left to talk everyone into upping the ante and renting a houseboat on Lake Powell for a week next year.
I believe we can do it! Until then, we hope you’re staying cool and enjoying your own community in whatever way it presents itself to you.


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