Our third and final camping trip of the summer. We went to the Hocking Hills campsite, which is right near Old Man's Cave. Boiling temps in the high 90s kept us from hiking for more than a few hours. Thank goodness they have a swimming pool there! We canoed, hiked, swam, and when the rain came we shopped and ate at a buffet and read books in the tent by lanternlight. Personally I like the sound of the rain on the tent when the sun goes down---I feel very cozy.
I've enjoyed the camping, though it's not all perfect. Sometimes it takes an hour to get a good campfire going, which is a big deal when you're trying to boil water for coffee. While we experience a lot of new things and explore our world, we gripe and kibbitz to beat the band. Kids don't always want to go fetch water and kindling, or help with the dishes. They don't understand the concept of "don't touch the tent while it's raining!" Though I will give them this, I've not heard either kid say "I'm bored" in three camping trips---they both brought books and a drawing tablet, and spent much of their idle time either looking for bugs and things to "study" or riding scooters.
I hope that when the kids are older, they will remember the good parts, like seeing the naturalist talking about Ohio raptors, discovering silkworms in the trees, chasing raccoons away by the campfire, and being allowed to ride their scooters all through the campground, barreling down the hill like a couple of lunatics. I hope they someday make the connection that their parents chose these vacations because they knew at ages 5 and 8, it was probably one of their last chances to snuggle in with their cubs. In this day in age it is rare to have the time and opportunity to devote time only to each other, with no outside forces interrupting, be it computer, television, chores, work, obligations, activities or the neighbor kid who knocks on the door at 5pm every evening wanting them to go ride bikes. As they grow, these opportunities will dwindle, and I'm glad we threw our arms around this summer while we had the chance.