This year during Dave’s summer break (Adobe gives their employees the week of the 4th of July off) we decided to head to Payson Lakes. Dave took the three older kids last year with lots of the Tanner family and had a great time. As the time grew closer I began to wonder what I was thinking taking a 2 year old camping. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to work, but decided making memories with the other kids would be worth it. When I was growing up my G&G Tanner lived in Payson, so we camped at Payson Lakes many times and I have some wonderful memories myself.
After spending a week prepping, gathering, and packing I again began to think it wasn’t going to be worth it. Then on Wednesday when Dave and I spent 3 hours packing the coolers, car, and canoe while all the kids were fighting, whining, and crying I for sure thought it wasn’t worth it and was ready to pull the plug on the whole thing.
We pushed forward and I am SO GLAD we did! Camping with 4 kids is a tremendous amount of work. Camping in general is a lot of work, but adding so many little people to the equation just made it that much more.
So, was it worth it?
Absolutely! It took about a day for me to come to that conclusion, but both Dave and I agreed that it was! Here’s why:
– listening to my kids make-up and tell ghost stories around the campfire (we all agreed that Audra’s was the best – it involved a clapping skeleton in a bush)
– watching Conner grow up. He really took charge and learned a lot. He became a better canoe paddler and steerer than me. He is a fishing expert. He increased his knowledge of building fires. And was just a delight to be around. I’ve seen a change in him since we got home – I think he needed this opportunity to feel older and stronger.
– putting our whole family in the canoe and going out on the lake!
– telling scripture stories around the campfire
– seeing Logan’s enthusiasm about fishing, even going first thing in the morning with Grandpa Tanner
– letting Eli just be a boy playing in dirt, the lake, and with Ali’s cooler
– Audra wanting to catch and make friends with the many chickmunks (as she says) and groundhogs we shared our camp with. We explained the danger in doing that
I don’t know that we would have “survived” more than 3 days, but it was a good time! There is definitely something to be said about being in nature with no electronics, eating junk food, getting little sleep, and just being together.
It was even more fun that G&G Tanner, Ali, Josh, Meg, Ty and Kade came up for part of the fun. And of course they brought some adventures with them:
– Grandma losing her prescription sunglasses down the hole of toilet
– Dave and my dad fishing them out (gross)
– Logan and Audra getting some sort of itchiness all over their legs and arms, which constituted a drive down the canyon to get some cream to help
– Tyler acting as a “Chopped” chef creating a fire-cooked fish with lemonheads. Apparently it turned out pretty good.
– Watching Ali & Josh drive away both holding a full garbage bag out their windows to take to the dumpster — it was hilarious!
It really was a good time and definitely took less time to clean up, but Dave and I both know there is no camping for us in the near future – we need to get a few more years on the kids, or a trailer 🙂