Posted by: ladybughugs | June 10, 2008

Camping in the Friendly Forest

Ok, so we weren’t really in the Friendly Forest. We were actually here. The Friendly Forest is a reference to one of Lil’bugs favorite books. We started talking about the camping trip and she asked if we were going to the Friendly Forest. I suppose you could say it was friendly in that we didn’t see, or were bothered by, any of these. There are signs everywhere with warnings about not attracting them. There is a $1,000 fine if they get into your cooler, because if they start associating people with easy food they need to be put down. And you get charged for that.

It was also friendly in that they had showers. Hot showers. Actually, too hot given the outside temperatures. But, I was able to get the bug repellent, sunscreen, and sweat off Lil’bug and myself, even if it was only for five minutes! She also has a new-found appreciation for the shower. The first time, she wanted no part of it (too hot!). The second time, I couldn’t get her out! Yes, that’s two showers in one day. At home on Monday morning she begged for a shower.

This weekend we were actually camping with the Cub Scouts. It’s the fourth year we’ve done this and it’s one of the highlights of the year. More than anything it’s quality family time. While there’s plenty of Cub Scout activities to keep the boys busy (and they have a blast, literally, with a water bottle rocket launch), there is also so much more time to be together as a family since there are no distractions like the TV and laundry and grocery shopping and…and…and.

It’s also easier than camping on our own because we don’t need to own and pack every piece of camping equipment under the sun. The pack has a lot of equipment (stove, grills, pots & pans, utensils, first aid kit, etc.). The pack provides the main menu items and everyone brings side dishes and/or desserts to share. We’re responsible for our own personal equipment (tent, bug repellent, sleeping bags, bug spray, air mattress, camp chairs, insect repellent).

This year was the hottest of all of the camping trips. The first year we camped the first weekend in April. In New Jersey. At Sandy Hook. By the ocean. It was sooo coooold! That year, during the night I kept pulling Scout’s head out of his sleeping bag thinking he’d suffocate in there. I don’t think I actually slept just so I could keep him from balling up in the bottom of his sleeping bag. Some parents ended up sleeping in their cars. I was not one of them. They said it got down to 30° over night. I believe it was colder than that. It was also 2005, so I was, maybe, two or three (at most) weeks pregnant with Lil’bug. So she’s been along on every camping trip! at 6 months in June 2006, at 18 months in June 2007, and now at 2.5. But, I digress.

This year the temperatures were in the 90s during the day. We adjusted the agenda to take the boys swimming at the hottest time of the day. We adjusted it again to take them swimming again later. We didn’t take the trip to the new fishing spot they’d found (you know, the kind that actually has fish), but no one keeled over from the heat, either. The boys would’ve run around the field in the sweltering sun and oppressive humidity like lunatics all day.

Reluctantly Leaving the Lake

Lil’bug Reluctantly Leaving the Lake

Saturday afternoon/evening two small thunderstorms came through. We spent about 10 minutes each time in our vehicles. The campfire went on. The scouts told stories, did skits, and sang songs. I fell asleep while putting Lil’bug to sleep. It’s just as well, I wasn’t about to leave her there to go back to the campfire, see reference above to big, wild animals roaming wild, and free.

Oh, and fishing? H was almost caught by a fish! It started nibbling at his toes and he backed away. It came after him, and he stepped sideways. It chased him! and he ran! The fish couldn’t have been more than five inches long. Meanwhile on the other side of the lake the boys who were determined to catch something were striking out. Oh, the irony!

This year is bittersweet, really, because in February Scout will cross over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and we will not participate in this event next year. I’ll miss it. I’m told that parents, especially moms, participate less in Boy Scout activities. That makes me sad, because it marks a time in his life when he is growing and becoming more independent of me and I’m not ready for that.



  1. I love your site. The friendly forrest is awesome! The baby is so cute!

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