Family Camping

Every year, for the past 16 or 17 years I have spent the second weekend in July camping with Scott’s family.  We spent this trip at Bear Lake Campground in Manawa, WI.  The campground is located on a full wake lake and a short drive to the Iola Old Car Show and Swap Meet, which the guys spend two or three days at.  This year Scott came back with an awning for our pop up- which sure beats the grey tarp we have been using.

After having to walk up to the park with my two oldest children everytime they wanted to play I teamed up with my sister-in-law to get everyone to move to sites closer to the park.  Best move ever.  We can now watch the kids play from our sites.  We are also right next to the big open field where there has been many a kickball or baseball game, water gun fight, horseshoe game and yes even grown adults playing in hamster balls.


The lake is shallow for quite some distance which can be stressfull when the little ones wonder out to far, but is great fun for the big kids.  The camp store has hand scooped ice cream and ice cream treats, inexpensive candy and they rent row boats, kayaks, and paddle boats.

But the kids may enjoy their night swim the most.  I told them this year that you had to be 10- I will regret that in 2 years when my 8 year old remembers that I said that.


Traditionally on Sat we have walking tacos for dinner.  Everyone always brings something and we make it a big group effort.  Always a struggle to find the individual packages of Fritos but we always do.  We also usually do some sort of craft or project. Last year we did a scavenger hunt.  Before that we colored white t shirts or fabric with fabric markers.  This year we decided to step back to our youth and tye dye.  It went surprising smooth.  The older kids went first and then the younger.  Everyone had so much fun the older kids even helped the younger ones.  We used t shirts, pillow cases, boxer shorts, headbands, pieces of cloth, and tote bags.  Lots of different patterns and everything looked great.  We filled buckets with warm water salt and the tye and used cups to dump it onto the fabric letting it run back into the bucket.  Not as fancy as all the new squeeze bottle kits you see but went a lot farther and worked great.  We set everything out for about 45 minutes cut the rubber bands and washed and dried on a short cycle at the camp store.  Then the kids all got decked out in their new apparel and called themselves the TD gang.


We have a nightly bonfire with many conversations and smores.  Someone always falls asleep in front of it.  Rumor has the last ones came in this in around 5 am.  Not this night owl.  I loved the excuse on Sat that my baby needed me to lay with her.


Everyone stays for a different amount of time.  My middle guy stays with grandma and my youngest is never happy she has to go for dance.  A long weekend in a pop up tripping over everyone’s stuff and crawling over everything to get into bed is enough for me. Maybe its time to upgrade.

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