Camping!

Last night was our second annual Boys-Only Camping Trip of Indescribable Awesomeness. It’s a tradition we started last year when I took Xander camping for the first time and he spent the next 11 months talking about the time I let him eat Gummi Bears for breakfast. This year we decided that Oscar was old enough to come too.

Our trip was kind of spur-of-the-moment this year. We had other plans for Sunday that wound up being cancelled thanks to the tropical storm (or “marginal hurricane,” depending on whom you ask) that blew through on Saturday, but when the weather cleared up it seemed like a good day for camping, and we figured we should seize the opportunity.

Spontaneous camping is not an easy thing to pull off with a three-year-old and a five-year-old, and I have to confess I was a little bit cranky by the time we’d packed the van full with a ridiculous amount of stuff and still hadn’t managed to leave the driveway by 3 p.m. But Daddy got over himself and managed to set the tent up without swearing, and we ended up having a great time.

Some of the highlights:

– We had a huge food fight with baby carrots, little Ritz peanut butter sandwiches and the Leftover Sandwich Crust of Death.

– We made fire and poked it with sticks. And we cut things with a Swiss Army knife.

– We built a squirrel trap out of a cardboard box, with a cinnamon bun for bait. (It didn’t work.)

– Our diet was 82 per cent sugar. We had dessert after dinner, then we bought candy at the campground store, then we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. In the morning we had chocolate Mini-Wheats and hot chocolate for breakfast. And we put marshmallows in both. A few hours later we had a second breakfast of chocolate-chip pancakes with syrup.

– We peed outdoors.

– We stayed up late and looked at the stars and told scary stories around the campfire.

– We invented a game called “Not Nice Neighbours,” which mostly involved rolling over the person next to you in your sleeping bag and squashing them.

– With none of the fairer sex around to be grossed out, we granted a special one-time exception to the “no bathroom talk at the table” rule. We spent breakfast composing increasingly elaborate and revolting poems about poo. Xander’s was the winner, and all I dare mention is that it involved a poop volcano.

–  We came home with blackened feet and hair that smelled like a campfire and clothes stained with chocolate, mud and a little bit of blood (just a random nosebleed, nothing major). We were in serious need of a bath, but some of us needed a nap first.

All in all, a succesful trip, with no major casualties except the one camping chair so infused with chocolate and marshmallow that it might not be salvageable. It was 18 hours of such sheer manliness that Oscar may have even sprouted some facial hair overnight… or maybe it’s just a stubborn food stain.

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