Things I learned at camp

Filed under: Big Kids, Activities: Babies, Places To Go, Development/Milestones: Babies

We spent this past weekend camping in the mountains. By camping, I mean staying in a cabin located near some campsites. This camping weekend is an annual trip we take along with about 10 other families. We bring the kids and the dogs and set up temporary homes around a remote lakeside campground. A few of us stay in cabins, others in campers, and a few hardy souls make their homes in actual tents.

I learned a lot this weekend and thought I would share. I learned that in cabin speak, 'kitchenette', means 'mini-refrigerator'. Also, if you leave the door open and the lights on, bugs are going to move in and spend the night with you. I learned that the biggest difference between renting a cabin and staying in a camper is the availability of a real toilet and shower. And that your friends in the campers and tents will be using your toilet. I learned that leeches are gross. That a white dog turns gray immediately upon exiting the car. And that paddling a canoe is a lot harder than it looks.

By far, the most important lesson I learned is that Ellie is not a baby anymore. She was having a wonderful time running around with her friends, but I was nervous and kept an eye on her at all times. Not everyone at this campground was a friend, and some of our neighbors looked like they lived in the woods full-time. They made me nervous and I continually reminded Ellie to stay where I could see her. At one point, she whispered to me "please don't embarrass me." My constant checking on her was making her feel like a baby and so I backed off. I kept watching her, but was more discreet about it.

Around the bend from the campground is a beautiful little beach. Someone has tied a rope to a tree and the kids line up for turns swinging out on the rope and dropping into the lake. While Ellie looked longingly at the rope, I looked nervously at the rocks just below the rope. Not all of her friends were interested in the scary looking rope swing, but Ellie looked at me with pleading eyes. I hesitated a moment and then gave her the go-ahead. I watched nervously as she climbed onto the slippery rock and grabbed the rope. If she chickened out and didn't let go of the rope at the right time, she might end up on the rocks. I held my breath as she jumped off the rock, swung out over the lake, and dropped beautifully into the water.

The look on her face as she climbed back up the bank was worth the knot in my stomach. She was so proud of herself that she practically swaggered as she got back in line with the big kids. I was proud, too.

This wasn't our first trip to this particular lodge, but it may very well be our last. It is not that we didn't enjoy the scenery and the time spent with our friends, but I think I am more of a resort kind of girl. But Ellie grew up a little this weekend, and for that reason alone, the trip was well worth it.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.