I knew beyond any shadow of doubt what the girls' reaction was going to be when I told them that Daddy and both of the older boys were going camping for the weekend, so I decided to head it off with the announcement that I would be taking the girls camping when the boys got home.
There were only four small problems with this strategy.
1. I've never been camping and I'm a bit hazy on the details.
2. We were incredibly busy that week.
3. The campground was infested with Lyme disease bearing ticks (as in, we knew two people who had gotten Lyme here).
4. It was 98 degrees.
The solution to #1 was to be my usual foolhardy and overconfident self (how hard could it be?).
The solution to #2 was to set up the tent in the afternoon, come back home to do Grammy's birthday party and then return to camp in the evening.
The solution to #3 was to spray our clothes and tent with permethrin and apply DEET at high concentration over the rest of us. We also hiked along the paved roads instead of the woods. We also prayed! We got this strategy here. It worked! Even though we saw three ticks while setting up the tent, we didn't get any on us!
As to #4, we got hot and sweaty, but it cooled off some overnight.
We actually had a very nice time. Keeping it to one overnight was key (unless I can learn to build a better fire). But we hiked, talked, played games, sang, cooked, roasted marshmallows and ate S'Mores. I think that was the extent of our "Things to Do While Camping" checklist, so we were all quite satisfied.