Our First Time Tenting with Youngsters
A couple of months in the past, I had the concept to go tenting over Ryder’s birthday and Father’s Day weekend since they each fell on the identical Sunday this yr. Ryan was all-in on the concept so I booked us a campsite at Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, North Carolina.
(The boys’ ocean animals pajamas are Janie & Jack and had been a present from my mother! We LOVE their pajamas as a result of they’ve them in sizes that permit all three boys to match and the standard passes the hand-me-down check.)
After our first visit to Dan Nicholas Park in 2021, Ryan and I agreed it might be the right spot to aim tenting with our boys sooner or later for a myriad of causes. Fact speak: We principally we chosen this location as a result of it’s solely an hour from our home so it might be straightforward sufficient to pack up and head residence if we had been all depressing… however we additionally chosen it as a result of there’s SO a lot to do at this little gem of a park. (For those who’re native and haven’t been, add it to your “should go to” record!)
For those who camp on the weekends on the park you’re required to guide two nights however the websites are solely $30 to order so we booked Friday and Saturday evening however opted to solely keep one evening. This was an important determination for our household as first-time campers as a result of we arrived at our campsite after Chase’s swim meet on Saturday morning feeling rested, energetic and excited concerning the day and evening forward!
Ryan and I checked out our first tenting journey as one large roll of the cube since we arrived at our campsite with some issues we had by no means used earlier than together with our tent, the sleeping baggage and chairs for the boys I discovered at ALDI on Thursday for $12, our air mattress and a pop-up griddle. I actually was dreading placing up our tent as a result of I’ve vivid recollections of assembling our household’s tent with my mother and father as a child and bear in mind the method being L-O-N-G. (All of us crack up about these tenting recollections now! Really tenting with my mother, dad and sister are a few of my very best recollections as a child and one of many causes I actually, actually hoped our boys would love tenting as a household, too.)
Nicely, I’m unsure if it was my childhood mind dramatizing the method of tent setup or if tents have come a great distance in three a long time or what however Ryan and I had our tent up in lower than 10 minutes. Really! My thoughts was blown and I instantly texted an image of our tent to my mother and father and sister as a result of I didn’t comprehend it was attainable to erect a tent in lower than two hours.
Ryan will get ALL the credit score for choosing this slam dunk of a tent for our household and we each mentioned we give it an 11/10 score. (This is the exact tent Ryan purchased on tremendous sale on Black Friday final yr however this one is less expensive and appears to be the very same tent however in a inexperienced shade.) The tent is BIG which was necessary as a result of we wish it to develop with us as the youngsters get larger but it surely additionally labored very well for us now as a household with younger youngsters. It has two zip-down dividers inside that permit the within of the tent to be divided into three sections which was massively useful as a result of it allow us to put Rhett to mattress on one facet after which keep up later with the large youngsters. (Ryan and I slept within the center part.) We simply made positive to pack a noise machine to drown out further noise and Rhett was exhausted sufficient from skipping his nap on Saturday that he went proper to sleep in his pack ‘n’ play. Right here’s a glimpse at his setup:
However backing up a bit to our arrival on the campground…
As soon as our tent and chairs had been all arrange, the boys had been itching to get out and about and discover. Previous to tenting, we had by no means visited the other facet of the lake at Dan Nicholas Park the place all of the campsites are situated. We liked strolling across the lake and spent numerous time fishing, on the lookout for turtles, freaking out over all of the little ducklings and catching and releasing frogs and toads. Our creature-loving boys had been in heaven!
We liked the truth that Dan Nicholas Park’s campsites are canine pleasant so Pepper may be part of our gang however this made a few of the actions inside the park slightly difficult to get pleasure from as a household since numerous them don’t permit canines. That is completely comprehensible (and sensible) and Ryan and I made it work by swapping “Pepper responsibility.” Pepper joined us all around the park however stayed with Ryan whereas I rode the small practice with the boys and stayed with me whereas Ryan did the carousel with the boys.
Costs at Dan Nicholas Park are like a stroll again in time and every part from tickets to journey the practice and carousel to tickets to Rowan Wild, the small nature facility situated inside the park, are solely $.50-$1.00.
The gem mining at Dan Nicholas Park is all the time a significant spotlight for our boys and we sprung for the large bucket (this isn’t $1.00 — haha!) and sifted by a lot of sand to seek out large gems, a big shark tooth and different surprises.
After gem mining, we spent a while on the playground earlier than strolling again to our campsite to make an early dinner.
We packed all of the fixings for warm canines and brats on our griddle and dug in!
As soon as we had been good and full, we made our approach again to the lake to catch and launch tadpoles and fish slightly bit extra earlier than the boys requested a visit to the splash pad!
The boys mentioned the splash pad water was freeeeezing however that didn’t cease them from working by the streams of water again and again. We packed pajamas to alter into after they had been performed splashing round and started the stroll again to our campsite.
Chase and Ryder seen lots of people strolling round with ICEES and after one man heard them speaking concerning the ICEES they noticed he yelled out, “Over there! Go get you one!” and directed us to the brand new concession stand situated on the prime of a giant hill. Our boys are shave ice-obsessed however ICEES had been a brand new factor for them and let’s simply say they had been an enormous hit. I additionally forgot how good a cherry ICEE tastes on a scorching day and it was a pleasant little deal with to get pleasure from on the stroll again to our campsite.
By the point we made it again to the campsite, the boys had been all amped up on ICEE sugar and the considered making a giant fireplace in our fireplace pit. As Ryan received the blaze going, the large youngsters seen the campsite that backed as much as our web site was nonetheless vacant and received the concept to construct their very own “brother fireplace” (no grown ups allowed) just a few toes away.
They had been so pleased with themselves however got here again over to our fireplace as soon as they noticed we had all of the provides for s’mores.
(Our s’mores roasting sticks had been Christmas reward to Ryan just a few years in the past and a customized order from this Etsy shop.)
Everybody loaded up on s’mores and we may inform Rhett was fading quick so we bushed our enamel and all headed into the tent to faux it was bedtime for everybody whereas we tucked Rhett into his pack ‘n’ play and mentioned goodnight. He was out inside a few minutes!
As soon as the solar went down, the nighttime tenting enjoyable started! We caught fireflies with the large youngsters and Chase’s spotlight from the tenting journey occurred close to the shore of the lake at evening when he used Pepper to assist him find numerous toads to catch and launch by the sunshine of his flashlight.
We then cuddled up by the hearth and informed tales till Ryder and I may barely maintain our eyes open anymore.
As soon as we made our approach into the tent, the boys snuggled into their sleeping baggage and I learn all of 1 chapter in my guide on my Kindle earlier than we had been all asleep.
Sleeping by the evening didn’t occur for anybody however our first evening tent tenting went fairly effectively all issues thought of. We had been all awake just a few occasions due to a hooting owl that made Pepper bark, Rhett crying out as soon as, Chase needing to make use of the toilet and Ryder getting snarled in his sleeping and needing assist to get settled again in. I wakened on Sunday feeling removed from rested however would nonetheless completely chalk up our first in a single day tenting journey as successful.
Plus, Ryder received to get up in a tent as a FIVE yr outdated!
We frolicked on the campsite, the lake and the playground at Dan Nicholas Park for a lot of the morning on Sunday.
As we made the drive again residence, the boys talked again and again about how a lot enjoyable that they had throughout our tenting journey. Nobody slept significantly effectively however nobody actually appeared to care about that in any respect when in comparison with the general expertise of tenting with our crew. Chase and Ryder are already asking after we can go tenting once more (Rhett simply desires to journey the practice once more) and we’re already eyeing dates for a fall tenting journey!