This week, the boys and I loaded up the SUV with five sleeping bags, four superheroes and one super-sized mug for campfire coffee and drove to the beach, where we tent camped, hiked, visited the local aquarium and introduced DJ to the ocean for the very first time. (Thank God for YouTube tutorials, tent-pitching 10-year-olds and lighter fluid … lots and lots of lighter fluid … and also, caffeine.)
While there, I learned that boys don’t need to be TAUGHT to pee on trees (our 10-year-old superhero-in-waiting did it instinctively … without first any lessons on modesty or the appropriate trees to pee upon … AKA, NOT those facing the street, where you can wave to new campers with one hand and support yourself with the other), bug repellant may or may not be bad for your health but it surely prevents the chicken pox effect, a look we didn’t plan to sport the week following a camping trip where we forgot it, and although the OUTSIDE temperature may near 100 degrees, the INSIDE temperature of a tent will feel more like an oven. Or H-E-double-hockey-sticks. Whichever one is hotter. :)
Also, the rabies virus dies once the saliva where it is carried dries out. So no, although you panicked when you fed your children veggie chips that you later discovered had been clawed by raccoons in the night (because you DIDN’T lock them in your car like your sweet husband suggested when you told him you were taking four boys camping), 12 hours later, those chips probably did not carry the saliva of rabid animals. Although your husband may find your fret quite adorable when he calls to ensure that all four little humans on said camping trip are indeed still alive. And you can't talk because you are too busy Googling rabies vaccines. Check.
Two days, one night and one sleepover cut short (we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do “furnace” two nights in a row), and this superhero’s first camping trip was a hot, sticky, dripping mess of a success. Even if he DIDN’T love marshmallows. :)