(I wrote this in July and never posted it, I love it a ton, so, I am posting it now as a reminder to myself and my kids of what we did in the summers when they were younger.)
Last year a group of friends and I started a tradition. See, we all run in the same "circle", we are social media moms. We see one another at events, have started to invite kids over for play date's and even have "husband" nights when we can bring them with us. One of the smart ones of the group said, "Hey, we live in the beautiful state of Colorado, Why don't we do what the locals do, lets do a huge camping trip with all of us?"
Then a tradition was born.
YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch camping trips were born, Google spreadsheets were made for meals (because we don't do anything low tech), maps were printed, phone lists were sent out and away we went.
We learned A LOT that year:
* It rains everyday afternoon.
* Bring cold weather gear, it gets down to below freezing at night.
*Tents can leak.
* The local animals WILL eat through your tent (Oh, and they don't like tortillas)
*Sitting in the library, drinking hot tea and playing a board game while a rain storm passes will be one of your kids favorite memories.
The kids learned more than we did:
*Picnic tables make great stages for entertaining the adults with song and dance. (There is rumor they have been practicing a song from "Pitch Perfect")
*Even when it rains, you still have to eat your lukewarm hot dog.
*In this group, you will NOT meet a stranger.
*Their Mom's friends don't just live in the computer.
Year two will commence in three days, I've begun with my lists. Printing off maps and making reservations for ziplining and archery for the kids, Making sure I pack warm pants and jackets for five kids.
Being part of a blended family, we had to learn how to change schedules and let the "other" parents know what is going on. We had to make a few demands that kids won't miss this trip, it's not just a family trip for us to build memories, it's a trip for them to start building traditions with their own friends.
As well as one of the trips where we see the older kids move on to college, etc. My son leaves for college in Iowa in less than a month, next year another one of the teens in the group will be going off to college, one day, it'll just be those of us left in the circle.
Perhaps by then, we won't be camping, we'll be on a cruise. Just us girls.