any vacation we take we get to be together. but there is something about camping that makes us closer as a family. we work together to set up camp. bobby starts the campfire, i cook, the kids wash the dishes. everyone does their part. we work together to put everything away - roll up sleeping bags, pack up the tent, put clothes away. we encourage and support each other - as we swim across a river, hike up a long steep trail or try to get warm in the middle of the night. it is definitely a bonding experience.
2. taking a break from electronics
we were in a part of the park that did not get reception. no cell phones or internet. and of course no tv or video games. we find other ways to have fun. yahtzee, swimming, and making up games. or just hanging around and talking. it makes me want to turn the tv and computer off more at home. these breaks are needed, especially in the summer. and it makes us all more thankful when we do have them.
3. appreciating nature
that's a given, but it still surprises me how overwhelmed i am by it. to look up and see the stars. to walk through a grove of trees that are hundreds or thousands of years old. to go through a tunnel and feel like i've been transported to another place. it gives me a huge sense of perspective and appreciation.
4. fun things for the kids
like the junior ranger program. the kids learn about the park, the environment and it gives them something to work towards. at the end they get a badge and a pin and they say an oath to protect the parks. love that.
to read. to play. to laugh. to talk. to see. to try. to listen. to snuggle. to experience. to fully take advantage of the day.
*things we don't like: the mosquitos, the dirty feet and the threat of a bear coming into the campsite because of our minty fresh breath. but that comes with the territory and we wouldn't have it any other way.