"What's the first rule of camping June?"
"Tell a grown up if you have to go potty."
"Well, yes - that is smart. I think the next rule of camping is to HAVE FUN."
"Yes! And the other rule is don't get scared because there are no wolfs in Shoreline. And don't cry, unless you feel sad and then it's okay to cry because grown ups will take care of you and it's their job to keep you safe, right mom?"
"Yes June. I think we're all set for camping."
For my first solo camping trip with June I chose Odlin County Park on Lopez Island. Besides being one of my favorite campgrounds, I also knew it was small enough that I could keep June in my line of sight at all times. Par for the course, June crashed her scooter and skinned her knee in the first 5 minutes of camping. I took a deep breath and suggested we go to the beach. And that's where we spent 80% of our time over the next three days.
June was SO excited to sleep in the tent. I hardly had the tent up before she was spreading out her sleeping bag, clothes, games and books.
Note to self: if you ever see a single parent trying to set up a 6-person tent, offer to help.
June made lots of friends at the campground. Some had two legs, many had four legs, and one had a kayak.
On the second night, I had a hard time explaining why we were going to bed when it was still light out. I tried the truth, "Mommy Jane is really tired."
On the last morning, June told me, "I don't want to go home! I want to stay camping!" The sign of a good time.
The trip reminded me that the most important rule of parenting is the same as camping - HAVE FUN.