Saving Summer With A Weekend Camping Trip


I don’t know how it happened, but we are coming to the end of summer vacation. We have three weeks left before school starts. Three weeks to fit in all those fun activities that I thought we were going to do while the kids were out of school. Three. Weeks.

So what have we been doing all summer? My husband and I have been working. That is new for me this year as I usually don’t work during the summer. I am usually free to be spontaneous, my favorite thing to be, and we go with the flow of the summer breeze. Whichever way it may blow.

My kids on the other hand, have NOT been working. Quite the opposite. They have been staying up WAY too late, sleeping until after lunch, and then spending way too much time killing people on the t.v.. Now, I know it’s summer, and it’s ok if they do some of zachboardingthis. However, it really bothers me that they are not out swimming in the pool that NEVER gets used, or playing basketball or something outside. (To be fair, my oldest son does go long boarding very regularly. He is exempt from that complaint.)

My youngest son who is 12, even though he is the worst at getting sucked into the virtual world, is the one who most wants to have some sort of an adventure this summer. He has been dying to go camping. He has been asking, no…begging,  all summer to go camping. Our family has camped often. We really enjoy camping. Maybe I should restate that. The boys and I love camping. Todd tolerates it. I think he enjoys it once he gets there and  the work is all done. That’s the problem with camping though. The work is never done. You have to work for your shelter, your fire, your food…and at the end of the day, you have to sleep on the ground. I love it!

I grew up going camping with my dad. I have fond memories of sitting around a campfire at Kelly Park listening to him tell us stories of old Mr. Kelly, the hermit that lived in the cave at the springs. He would get us good and scared and then rustle the bushes and say, “I think he’s coming!”, and we would all scream. I love falling asleep to the sounds of crickets, and waking up to the birds. It was an obvious decision who should be the one to take Owen on his camping adventure. Besides, someone needs to stay home to make sure the older boys don’t throw a party, and Todd is the best man for that job.

We leave today, Friday, and will spend two nights at Juniper Springs State Park in the Ocala National Forest. Going somewhere with water was a must since it is July… in Florida. I am taking Owen and two of his friends. That’s right. Just me and three twelve year old boys. Crazy? No, I’m perfectly sane. Really. I feel totally safe too. Owen is practically survivor man. I’ll have to limit how many of his knives I’ll let him bring. He will be disappointed that we can’t trap and kill the animals for food.

I’m sure there will be many stories that come out of this trip. Even if it rains on us, bears eat our food, and we come back with ticks and  a horrible case of poison ivy….it will make a great blog post, right?

To be continued…….