104 Days of Summer Vacation: Camping

Camper and Truck

1. Go Camping

I just love camping and spending time with family.  When you camp there is a lot of communication that occurs, unless you are a camping family that brings a TV or other electronic devises.  When I was little my parents would tent it and we would sleep on the ground with a sleeping bag.  That was fun until I was an adult and it rained the whole week and we had a stream under the tent.  So now, I sleep in my parents’ trailer; much more comfortable especially with a teething child.

Lego Display from Mall of America

2. Build A Campsite Out Of Legos

This one is really cool.  I just love building with Legos; so do my daughters.  I discovered this cool Lego set while we were visiting the Mall of America.  So after you are done camping, bring camping home with this Lego set or create your own.  Click here to see the set available from Lego.

3. Build Your Own Inuksuk

Building your own Inuksuk out of rocks is fun to do as long as you are careful and carry only rocks that you can lift; smaller children equal smaller rocks.  My daughter and I discovered many rocks that were the perfect shape and sizes to build our own Inuksuk on the North Shore of Lake Michigan.  We also found other peoples’ versions.

Simple steps when building your own Inuksuk

  • Collect rocks of similar sizes and shapes
  • Build the legs using rocks, leave space between the legs
  • Add a middle rock across the top of the legs
  • Add the sides (like the legs but smaller)
  • Add the top rock across the sides
  • Add a head rock
  • Add sticks for fingers

If by chance while you are building your Inuksuk and it falls over, watch out for toes and then start again. Watch the video for visuals on how to build your Inuksuk.  For art lessons click here to my post about Inuit art.

Roasted Giant Marshmellow

4. Roast Marshmallows

You need a fire for this and marshmallows.  I also like to have the gram cracker with the chocolate for a tasty sticky treat.  I’ve roasted marshmallows in the winter and they tend to freeze after you cook them.  This past week, I tried a new trick with a giant marshmallow.  A few caught fire and a few ended up in the fire.  My Dad is really good at getting them really puffed out and brown without burning them.

5. Go Star Gazing

When you live in the city the stars tend to disappear in the light.  When you go star gazing, I recommend some sort of bug repellent, otherwise; you might be a bug’s midnight snack.  I like to bring a blanket and watch the stars from the shores of a lake.  I also like to bring along a friend or family member when I go star gazing.  It’s more fun to share when there is a shooting star or satellite.  While you are star gazing think about your size compare to the universe.  If you would like an interactive tool click here to go to The Scale of The Universe, the scale is from small to big.

6. Go For A Walk

This is one of my family traditions when we go camping.  We go walking thru the woods.  Of course we put on bug spray beforehand otherwise we might be a snack or lunch.  Afterwards we look for ticks.  Normally our walks are pretty safe because we stick to the parks trails and follow a map. There was this one time where my mom was leading the family on a four hour hike on a path where we were lost in the woods. On this path that lead us to waist deep water mud.  We turned around at that point.  We were coated in mud.  But that is probably our family’s most memorable walk memory.  Every time we tell the story the water mud gets higher and higher.  The story started with ankles and now its waist deep.  I speculate in another 20 years it will be up to our necks.

Tips for walking in the woods at a state park

  • Have bug spray and sunscreen
  • Wear good walking shoes
  • Have a walking stick
  • Follow a map!
  • Walk quietly in the morning because you might see wildlife
  • Avoid poison ivy (very itchy results)
  • Have fun spending time with your family out in nature
  • If it’s raining take an umbrella (my favorite time to walk)
  • Look for ticks when you are done

7. Tell Scary Stories

These can be fun to make up stories about the local area to scare your family.  To do this well research the local area before you go and pick out facts to mix into your story.  Know your audience when you start to give out the information.  How scared to you want your family to be and how much hold handing do you want to do afterwards.  I scare pretty easy so my stories are mild.

8. Play Card Games

If it happens to rain while you are camping and you are stuck under your canopy play cards.  There are all kinds of games you can play.  I like, go fish, crazy eights, 500, War, cribbage, and Solitary.  These are also great to play while moms and dads are cooking a meal.

9. Sketch Your Trip

Make sure to pack a sketchbook and some basic supplies.  While you are sitting down at your campsite start to sketch what you see around you.  Observe the different types of bugs, plants, rocks, wildlife that is at your site. That wildlife might be a brother with a pink fly swatter in each hand while sitting in a hammock.

Lake Michigan

10. Photograph your Trip

Having two little ones to keep an eye on, I have switched from a sketchbook to a camera.  Photograph your trip and create a video slide show to show your family.

Have fun sleeping under the stars and roasting marshmallows!

-Mrs. Berry

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