Camping -- FOR REAL!

My eleven year old has never been camping. Other than Girl's Camp, I don't think *I've* gone camping. When Dustin went to buy a tent, he asked me how big of a tent he should buy. I said, "Big enough of 3 because that's the largest number of people that will ever be sleeping in there." And yet, we went camping. I think people were in shock. My own mother could not believe it. And what's even more surprising -- everyone liked it.

A group of friends were at a park one lovely spring day, where they planned an Good Friday camping trip. Even though I was off skiing in snowy Colorado at the time, I lucked out with an invite. I've always told people we would go if anyone put a trip together so it was time to make good on my promise.

Important facts: Dustin actually knows how to camp. It's not like I was alone with no supplies or clue on how to proceed. And I've been to Girl's Camp -- tent camping.
Also important facts: Susan has a luxury trailer so I only had to pee in the woods twice (because she was asleep). It also was great entertainment for the little boys who spent most of their time in there since they were freezing. It was like camping with the Rockefellers.

More important facts: Jill and Noah have a cooking trailer with griddles and grills so no one had to bring up any pots, pans or cooking utensils. When divided up meals, we were with the Tylers Saturday morning. Jill said she'd just buy everything, so basically my assignment was donuts and muffins. It was a pretty cushy camping set up.

We got to camp around 1 and all the menfolk came over to help Dustin set up our two tents (kid tent and adult tent). I realized that it was actually freezing cold outside also. This is after everyone assured me that it would be perfect camping weather. And then it started raining. Not a great start.

The kids did not seem to mind. They all ran off only coming back to camp when the Munroes pulled out the quad and dirt bikes.

Tia and I decided to earn our keep (since I had done basically nothing for this trip) and set off to collect firewood. We were rather proud of ourselves for bringing back a piece off wood about the size of an adult.

Eventually it got so cold that we all gathered around the fire for a few rounds of the Name Game. Playing the Name Game with 40 people is hard.

We all fought over baby Remi.

The Sherwoods are hardcore Colorado campers, so of course Mike had all sort of good stuff. He set up a giant tree swing which the kids loved.

The kids took turns going on firewood runs since the fire was going non-stop.
 I'm pretty sure Sadie looked ridiculous in every picture I took. She loved chopping wood.

After dinner we roasted marshmallows and the kids started dropping like flies. This was actually my favorite part of the night as one by one a little one would fall asleep in someone's arms. In the end it was just the older kids and adults.
The older kids told us some of the funniest jokes, Mike told us the horror story of Alma and the Steel Toed Boots, we invented a passive aggressive tense and sang about Dustin's sleep pants.

Mike and Tia broke out the most delicious root beer, so it looked like a real bon fire.

The night was cold. My toes could not get warm so ended up begging Dustin for clothes to wrap around them. Eventually one of the times I woke up the sun was up and I was so grateful for morning. Except that it was only 5:23 when I looked at the time. Luckily, Ethan Munroe was up and got a fire going for all of us.

There was some awesome bed head going on as we all wandered out of our tents.
Compared to most everyone's night, mine was tame. I didn't end up with a kid in my sleeping bag or having to take the baby into the car because she was up all night. Nate did choose to sleep in the car.

While we all struck camp, the big kids hid easter eggs for the little ones. In case you were wondering how many kids there were, there were a lot.
After camp was all picked up, we let the kids ride on the Munroe's toys for a few more hours before we headed home. The first thing Ellie said when we got in the car was, "Are we going camping again? Because I loved it."

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