We decided to try something a little risky recently – camping along the banks of the Snake River – just Dad and the four oldest boys. Erik and Ricky were excited when we decided to go – Alek and Zak, not so much. Me? More than not so much – but very interested in (at least) TRYING to allow Erik and Ricky the opportunity to experience a different kind of fun. I learned a few things.
1. The banks of the Snake River are beautiful – see it here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.195897893789050.51243.193553124023527&saved#!/photo.php?fbid=202153283163511&set=a.195897893789050.51243.193553124023527&type=1&theater
BUT, you really don’t notice much beauty when you’re constantly trying to corral “the runners.”
2. Erik and Ricky are now “faster” runners than I am. Not sure if it’s my advancing age, or their advancing speed.
3. Always apply “visible indicators” to kids you’d like to be able to see “through the trees.” Fluorescent yellow or orange shirts or hats are recommended. Still may not help, though.
4. The “hide from Dad” game is much less fun for Dad while camping than while at home.
5. There needs to be available locks for tents – zippers are not enough. The idea that a child will wake up and unknowingly leave and walk in to the wilderness is unnerving.
5. An expectation that Dad will get some sleep is the WRONG expectation. There will be NO SLEEP!
6. We’re glad we took them camping – and gladder that it’s over – and have no plans to do it again any time soon.
7. If you decide to take kids affected by autism camping, know going in that THEY WILL HAVE A BLAST – as they have NO FEAR of freezing, getting lost or getting eaten by bears – YOU however, will not have a blast. You, most likely, will get to experience each of the following emotions and states. Agitated; Scared for their lives; Sore; Stiff; Frustrated; Wet – REALLY Wet; Stage 1 Hypothermia; 1st Degree Burns; A 2nd Degree Burn; Exhaustion; and then, finally, ELATION when it’s over and the very best, and most satisfying emotion of all – Overwhelming Satisfaction when you see their smiles! This – by the way – is why we do it, right?
8. They have already forgotten about it. PFFFTTT!