First, the mama needs to do some reconnaissance around the campground. Use different landmarks and clues to create a "map" or instructions to the treasure.
Make sure you have all the appropriate gear: map, binoculars, shovels, hat, bike gloves, pack...
Then, begin the search!
X always marks the spot.
Have your friends help you dig.
Or just supervise.
Enjoy your treasure! I didn't get a great picture of this. Basically, I used an old plastic container (the kind you get your salad in at Costco) and filled it with treats: candy and bubble gum. I had also made lanyard-type necklaces to hold Lipsmackers (for girls) and Carmex (for boys).
I have some more crafty plans for the lanyards on future camping trips. We will add to the ring with a stick cross we make, a name badge etc. More on that when we make some progress.
I was inspired by the hot dog bar (all the fixings) when we went to a recent Rockies baseball game. I couldn't seem to get enough of all the different combination possibilities. Just as ask Kristen...I had more toppings than dog. She said it was quite entertaining to watch me eat it...
But I digress. On our recent camping trip, I decided to make my own "works" hot dog bar.
First, start with GOOD hot dogs. All Kosher beef grilled over the campfire.
Lots of pickled products.
These are a couple you may not think of, but once you try it, you won't forget: cucumber and avocado.
Cheese, fresh-cut onions, sauteed onions.
And don't forget the chili.
Got any other hot dog ideas? I'd love to hear em. Leave em in the comments section.
Okay, I know some of you will just think this is weird---but I love wearing a dress when I camp. It must be something about feeling a little feminine in the rugged outdoors, or something...
I scored this camp/safari style dress at the Eddie Bauer outlet this summer for $6. I always wear it the first day we go camping since it's usually hot when we leave Denver. Then, as the evening cools off, I can layer leggings and a long sleeve under it.
But to me a camp dress is not complete without some patches! And, yes I did in fact earn these patches--when I was 10ish. They are from my old Pioneer Girls sash (think, Christian Girl Scouts). I've got one for my family, Bible study, sewing, nature, crafting....
Jack has a camp shirt too, so next year I want to use some of my other old patches to put on his shirt. Anne really wants a camp dress too, so I've been on the hunt. Let me know if you see one anywhere. I think it would be fun to reward them each a new patch at the end of camping trip based on what happened on that particular weekend.
I've already gotten Rocky Mt. National Park patches for each of the kids. I've been on the hunt for other fun patches at the thrift store, etc.
I'd love to get one more camping trip in this fall, but it doesn't look like it will be it the cards. We are in the thick of football season (Matt coaching) so we have games every Friday night.
We had a very relaxing camping trip this last weekend. Lots of things to add to my 1,000 Gifts list....
#156: The sound effects that little boys make when they play in piles of dirt.
#157: Hot cinnamon coffee first thing in the morning.
#158. Warming rays of morning's first light.
#160: A little girl who delights as she gathers ladybugs, draws nature and gets to "go potty" behind a tree.
#161: A perfectly roasted marshmallow.
#162: Seeing a red mushroom in real life. This was seriously the highlight of my weekend. I've only ever seen these in illustrations and children's books. But they REALLY exist!
#163: A baby bunny that let us hold her.
#164: Exploring God's creation.
#165: Friends for life!
#166: A baby who was a GREAT camper, even with teething and diarrhea.
#167: Friends who are like family.
#168: The bliss of a shower after 3 days of camping.
#169: Homemade healing balm (thanks, Kimberly) that stops the itch of mosquito bites.
We made Camp Cobbler this weekend while camping with friends at Sylvan Lake. (Dessert illuminated by my headlamp since it was dark.)
Since we have little freezer in our camper, we were able to pack some vanilla ice cream, which really sends the dessert over the top. Add friends and laughter around the campfire and you have a the perfect ending to a day of camping.
Prepare your coals. We used this handy dutch over liner, which you can get at a camp supply store.
Pour the cans of fruit into the Dutch oven.
Spread the dry cake mix evenly over the fruit.
Sprinkle with cinnamon. And cue cute baby girl hanging out in the camper....
Okay now back to cobbler making business, people....
Cut the butter into equal slices and arrange them on top.
Place Dutch oven over 15 hot charcoal briquettes. Put lid on the tip of the oven and place 10 hot briquettes in a checkboard pattern on top.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until done.
Watch out for jealous campers in campsites around you. This dessert puts off some pretty potent, amazing, sweet aroma as it cooks.
"Done" is a relative term. This time, it took us about an hour to cook the dessert and don't expect it to look like a cake. It will be somewhat runny in the middle. Think pie filling. Let it cool a bit before serving.
(Once again, another photo illuminated by my headlamp. I'll try to get a better pic next time. Seriously, the photo doesn't do this dessert justice.)
NOTE: Cooking time varies depending on the heat of coals, etc. So you will want to keep an eye on things. Make sure you rotate both the lid and the body of the Dutch oven for even heat and to prevent burning. You many need to add more coals if things are not progressing. There are whole websites devoted to the art of Dutch oven cooking. So do a Google search if you are needing advice, tips, more info.
Yes, I am still alive. Sorry for the lack of posting. It's not been for lack of something to talk about. There has been lots of summer stuff--10 year wedding anniversary, gardening, sewing, camping. I just feel like I've lost my bloggy mo-jo right now.
But I promise to get my back in the groove. Later today I'll post the first of two new camping recipes. Inspired by this lovely cast iron anniversary gift from the parents.
More later, friends. I promise.
I've always loved crafting with kids, even before I had kids of my own. In fact, in high school I was the crafts counselor/director at a couple of summer camps. Now that I have my own little monkeys, it's fun to put my "hobby" to use on them.
Nature provides endless crafting that is cheap, usually free. Plus it provides the perfect conversation about God's creation and how imaginative he must have been to think up all the things of the forest. I am always in awe of pine needles--how millions of them make up a huge impressive tree. God is in the details, in fact he loves the details (especially when we notice them).
I made some "nature gathering" bags for kids. They are specially useful when gathering items for these.
The bags are lined with oil cloth, which makes them great for gathering items that may be soggy or damp. It also means they can easily be wiped out.I think they would make great beach-combing bags, too. I also used a small piece of oil cloth to reinforce the place where I attached the strap. You don't have to make one...look in your stash at home or at a thrift store for a small child-sized bag.