Before we had the kids we would camp every Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. This year, I'm happy to say, we hit all three holiday weekends (and a few overnights in between!) with the kids! When I was in the thick of the newborn days, life became a blur of survival and for a moment, I forgot about who I used to be. One of my earliest memories is hiking and camping with my dad. I remember climbing the trails at Camelback and South Mountain in the 80s and 90s with my parents, sister and extended family.
When I met my husband we would go on camping trips over the weekends, hike, and eventually bring our dirt bikes or mountain bikes. We lived for adventure and time in the outdoors.
I think my upbringing and early marriage is why I became passionate about hiking and camping. While the kids were teeny tiny, I put everything on the back burner. In the last two years I have made a strong effort to expose the kids to as much outdoor activity as possible. We're in a good place, which I hope continues to grow. The kids actively ask when we're going camping again, when we get to go to a little cabin, when we get to go out and explore. When I was a teen I went through a phase where I didn't like being outdoors, but I'm thankful it came back.
Phase Two of my Raise Outdoorsy Children plan? More hiking, longer hiking, overnight backpacking trips eventually? Yes. It will happen. It just takes time and dedication.
My awesome uncle joined us for this Labor Day camping adventure and cooked some of the most awesome soup I have ever tasted. It filled us up and lasted all weekend. CJ ended up coming down with a fever so we had to cut it a little short, but it was still wonderful to be up in the woods, watching the kids and Sheba enjoy the fresh air and nature.