Family Camp

by Mrs. Smith on July 22, 2018

This week we did our first-ever FAMILY CAMP.


(those were trumpets playing a triumphant fanfare, in case you couldn’t tell)

It was a little costy to rent that campsite, but we justified it by it being far less costy than traveling somewhere else for a little family vacation. We’re in Hawaii. Let’s just Staycation. Duh.

So we did. Tuesday-Saturday. And it was great.

Friday we got adventurous and hiked over to Goat Island, dragging the kids across in kayaks, which was a good call because “low tide” that day really wasn’t low enough for it to be managed any other way, especially when Mr Smith and I were the only ones with water shoes.

It was worth it… That little bay over there is just big enough for kids to kayak around in and have a wonderful time, and just small enough to feel… I don’t know. Secluded. It was beautiful and we had it all to ourselves. We definitely need to do it again!

(Mahalo to our friends for letting us borrow said kayaks. They were great!)

I probably should mention, though — after two days of feeling like every muscle in my upper body was hit by a train, I’m planning to be IN the kayak getting dragged over there if we ever do this again. Battling waves coming at you from both directions while trying to keep your footing and not let your kayak-full-of-children get swept away was aparently a little on the “overdoing” side of things for this ultra-wimp.

Also, you can safely invest in the makers of reef-safe sunscreen, because we keep them in business. And yet, we still burn if we’re out between 11-2. Ergh.

My goal was ZERO SUNBURNS this week… and we actually did pretty well, especially compared to ward camp a month ago… but… yeah. You just can’t fight genetics, and I’m pretty sure our ancestors were glow-in-the-dark vikings who lived with every inch of their bodies covered, 90% of the year.

Here you see my 12yo’s arms and my thighs frying a nice shade of hot pink despite 4 ounces of spf 50 applied every 15 minutes all day.
(possible slight exaggeration there)

So, yes. Goat Island was adventurous and awesome. The beach where were camped was also quite lovely and I actually did a little boogie boarding myself. (what????? MOM GOT IN THE WATER????) Yes, I did. That’s how awesome the waves were.

Mostly, though, we just hung out (wait. hung out? hanged out? but that just sounds weird… let’s try again)

Mostly, we chilled at our campsite under our “easy corner” (anything but easy to set up), and let the boys demolish wood pallets for the campfire. They were in Boy Heaven with a couple hammers and a hatchet, chopping and whacking and smashing things to burn. I mean, does it get any better?

It does when you’re burning last year’s old homework!

Our oldest saved all the paperwork from her 8th grade year to crumple up and burn at camp. It made great fire starter and it was pretty cathartic/fun, too.

Goodbye middle school, helloooooo 9th grade!

When we didn’t have the puppy there, there were chicken families that would come entertain us, too. I’ve never actually watched a hen gather her chicks under her. It was so sweet to see those fluffy little balls of cuteness scurry up to Mama Hen and then walk right into her. They burrow under her feathers until you can’t see them anymore, and Mama Hen sits there looking around to make sure everything stays safe.

I think it was probably my favorite part of camp, actually. That and the time the 5yo and I watched our twinkle lights sparkle in the sunshine with the trees behind them. It was a magical moment.

Mr Smith’s favorite part of camp was on the very last day…

The kids were playing at the beach while the parents began the packing up process. We had Princess there, with her leash “securely” looped through a tent stake. One of those Mama Hens ventured into the other side of our camp, and ohhhhhh, Puppy really wanted to go say hi. She pulled and pulled at the end of her tether, and Mama Hen looked leary, but let her chicks peck around the table for crumbs anyway.

I watched for a while, a little amused that the chicken felt safe coming back with our puppy so obviously desperate to get to her.  And then, turning away to continue Camp Cleanup, I told my cleaning counterpart, “I think the chicken’s figured out that Princess can’t get over there…”

and IMMEDIATELY after those words left my mouth, I heard the quick little “ping!” of that leash getting yanked off that tent stake, a scuffle, Mama Hen freaking out, and Mr Smith laughing fit to kill.

I whipped back around to find that chicken puffed up 3 times her normal size, wings extended, dwarfing our 7-month-old terrier, and pretty much set on pecking her to death in defense of her chicklings. Poor puppy had no idea what in the world was going on, but she was definitely not on the winning side of that battle.

I quickly rescued the literally-picked-on puppy from Chickenzilla and all was made right. Mama Hen stayed a bit farther away after that. I made sure the leash was Mommy-Hooked to tent poles instead of just tossed through tent stakes.

To write it out here, it doesn’t sound like all that big a deal, but you should see the grin on Mr Smith’s face if you bring it up. He has no deep, abiding love for this dog, you see, so watching Puppy get her trash kicked by a chicken… It was apparently the funniest thing ever.

So, there you have it. Smith Family Camp 2018. We did it! If I’m not super sore still 6 months from now, we’ll probably book another site and do it again next year. 😉

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