Camping is a crock

I had a 3 day getaway last weekend with my girls as we camped with Emme’s Classical Conversations group.  Fiddledaddy followed me to the campground to help set up the tent and to survey the surroundings to determine if I would be in imminent danger.  As it was, the only perceived danger was that I might fall into the river, be carried off by mosquitoes bigger than my head, or pass out in the road while on the long hike to the bathroom facilities.

When the tent was erected, Fiddledaddy noticed Cailey sitting atop a picnic table looking miserable while swatting away mosquitoes with one hand and fanning herself with the other.  Cailey does not do HOT well.  Or bugs.  Or manual labor.  Or general discomfort.  I pray for her future husband daily.

“Cailey, do you want to come home with Jensen?  We’re going to the Animal Kingdom tomorrow.”

Animal Kingdom, a zoo on steroids, was the deal struck to soften the blow that the small boy could not camp.  This was determined because of A) the heat, B) the river, C) the bugs, D) my frayed nerves.  Jensen’s skin, while doing better, would never have survived this particular camping foray.

In the end, Cailey grabbed her backpack and pillow and escaped, leaving me alone with Emme.  I looked forward to spending some quiet bonding moments with my teenager.  Alas, I saw very little of her as she frolicked with her tribe of fellow classmates while tubing, skateboarding, kayaking, and general running amuck.  She was positively joyful.

I, while eaten alive by various river buggery, enjoyed much time planted in my camping chair, enjoying the companionship of the other mothers.  I spent a good deal of time quizzing them about the Foundations and Essentials classes, as I’m considering putting the other two children into CC next year.

But the reason for this post (I know, how novel, a POINT) is that I made an interesting camping discovery.  Our CC group had planned on a pot luck supper while camping.  I envisioned myself slaving over my propane Coleman stove, but alas I came up with a different plan prior to leaving home.  I pre-made a large pot of Spaghetti with meat sauce and froze it in tupperware.  Since our campsite came replete with ELECTRICITY (not unlike Disney camping), I brought my trusty over sized crock pot.  To aid in the clean up process, I also purchased some crock pot plastic cooking liners.  I was able to put my frozen spaghetti into the crock pot that Saturday morning at the campsite and set it on low.  By that evening, I had a bubbling hot meal to present at show and tell our pot luck dinner.  And I didn’t even break a sweat.  I have to admit that I garnered the idea after camping last month with the girls A.H.G. scouting troop.  The camping team prepared breakfast and another meal by employing MANY crock pots in the camp kitchen.

Next month we’re inhabiting our favorite campground at Fort Wilderness with a gaggle of dear friends and their children.  There is nothing to compare with Disney camping at Christmas time.  Today at Wal Mart I purchased a smaller travel sized crock pot (2 quarts) for a measly $10.  I have deemed this my new camping crock pot for next month, and I feel it will revolutionize the camping dining experience as I plan to pre-prepare one pot meals, freeze them, and plunk them down into the crock pot in the mornings.

You may have noticed a recurring theme in that, I, a previously avowed NON-CAMPER, camps A LOT.

Roughing it is hard.

Any other camping tips which would make the experience even easier are greatly appreciated!

November 11, 2012

5 Responses to Camping is a crock

  • Worried about the 2qt holding enough for a family meal, but otherwise a fabulous plan. I live and die by my crock pots! 😉

    • Deb, I know, I thought about that. But weirdly, we don’t eat as much when camping. And I HATE dealing with leftovers after a camping meal. 🙂

  • Fantastic idea! I just found out that we will be camping for two weeks straight next September for my hubby’s annual archery hunting trip. We did one week this year and though it went well I just started to panic about meal ideas. This is sure to help! Some things I did this last September: made baked oatmeal muffins for breakfast (wrap in foil, heat, place in bowl with a little milk and you’re good to go!), dinner and lunch time and lunch food (sandwiches etc.) at dinner time. Cleaning up from dinner and getting four kids to bed is rough when I’m in the comforts of my own home. This way I can feed the kids before the guys get back from their evening hunt and have them ready for bed in a decent time. Love your stories!

  • This has nothing to do with camping, but as a CC mom myself I wanted to pass along the tiny bit of advice I have learned. (the VERY hard way!) My eldest did one year of Essentials and then was thrust into Challenge. It was a hugely big struggle for her compared to the kids who had been in CC for more years. She was just missing a lot of the pieces. (OK I am probably revealing too much here but we had not focused on Latin or History to the extent we should have.) Second daughter had the benefit of 1 round of each cycle of Foundations and 3 years Essentials. She had zero problems in challenge. All that memory work was already in there allowing her much more time to concentrate on the bigger stuff. It made the pace so much more comfortable. I had thought it was too expensive and really not needed. I also didn’t realize that memory work is vastly easier at a young age. My own education didn’t allow me to see the value in memorizing lots of info even before you “understand” it all. If only I could do it over! Eldest has struggled in many subjects (algebra, history, grammar) because she “understood” but didn’t memorize. Younger one is skating through because turns out when the definition is already in there it is easy to apply later. She is sailing through and it isn’t because she is a genius. I just laid a better groundwork. CC is worth every penny, especially in Foundations.

  • I heart Cailey. I think we are twins. Just like, 30 years apart in age. LOL’ing about being eaten by the river buggery. 😉 Glad you found a trick that will help you. I think you are onto something there!