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Old 03-05-2013, 09:18 AM   #31
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Youngkupernick....where are the cave tubing and spring pictures from?
In Ca., Natural Bridges off Parrots Ferry Rd. I believe it is in Calaveras County its about 10ml West of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. There is a sign but you have to look/watch for it, no real parking just the side of a small road. The trail down is good, probably just less than a mile but its all down hill so the hike back is slower. There are two floatable caves in the same area, we haven't done the second yet. It gives us a reason to get back up there.
When I was younger I did one out side of Cancun Mexico, it was longer but not as nice, it was more jungle-ish. I believe it was called a cinote.
We were just over on your side of the country(Fl) and played with the manitee in the Crystal Springs area. The kids really loved that. We spent 3 weeks in Fl. and tried to do it all: Everglades, air boats, NASA, Winter the tailless dolphin, Discovery Cove, a few state parks and Disney(spent a week).
John
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:13 PM   #32
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Youngkopernik, that was an awesome write up! I'm envious you get to spend so much time with your girls. Love the pics! Have you thought of coming to the rally on Goshen? I really like where this thread is going and I hope more will chime in. This last year, I decided to stop buying Christmas and birthday gifts for my oldest kids (the little one still gets them) and instead I've decided that we will make memories. The were all on board with this! We've traveled, cruised, and just hung out at home without any outside contact! It has been great! My kids have not wanted for anything,(ok, within reason (: ) and the fact of buying them gifts just because of an occasion seemed senseless. Another reason why we got back into camping.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:13 PM   #33
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This last year, I decided to stop buying Christmas and birthday gifts for my oldest kids (the little one still gets them) and instead I've decided that we will make memories. The were all on board with this! We've traveled, cruised, and just hung out at home without any outside contact! It has been great!
I thought I was the only one who wanted to ditch Christmas gifts. Hats off to you for doing it. Dont get me wrong I like Christmas I just have a hard time maneuvering thru the loaded powder keg that is gift giving. Let me say good job to you for doing that and investing in relationships.

Tips and tricks to camping with kids....hmmmm. I've learned that everyone has their own way of camping and most of us are really flattered when others emulate us. I think deep down when someone does it just like us (especially our kids) we kinda feel validated for who we are as people. When they choose another path and interests...it kinda hurts or at least feels like rejection on some level. I'm a lot like my father and yet my son..well..he's got his own set of interests for sure and camping is not one of them.

I am new to this forum..and not new to camping. In fact, I was almost born in a camper. My first time camping I was six weeks old and I have been out camping ever since. Being fairly new to this forum I can honestly say I feel like the kid who shows up to the math club with a pen and pencil rather than a big 'ol calculator.

It's been interesting to read about others and their style of camping. So many people here with their big rigs and massive trailers. I'm concerned the jump up to my new camper will be a distraction rather than enhance my camping experience. I can't imagine camping the way so many of you do it. Yet reading the stories of others here I recognize the elation and feelings that come over me in my own experience are shared by us all. I guess thats the beauty of the human experience. We dont have to all do it the same way and yet doing something in a vastly different manner can produce similar results.

I am chasing memories. I guess thats what it comes down to. Memories of places far away...smells that still linger inside my nostrils...and sounds that still echo in my ears. The sound of wind rushing thru pine trees. Thats what I find myself in the pursuit of the most. I pursure and I bring my family with me.

When I take my family out we unplug. We take a break from technology and give it a rest for awhile. Turn off the gadgets...forget about the TV..stop playing games and give our eyes a rest from anything that has a screen. We do this mostly weekends and also on the annual big trip out west.

People boast of having hundreds of facebook friends yet I have found it amazingly difficult to connect intimately with those handful of people I live with day to day. Camping has been one of the best means to accomplish that. It's a great way to elminate that outside contact if only for a brief while and "connect" with each other. Connect while sawing and splitting firewood. Connect while cooking over a fire. Connect while doing dishes. Connect while exploring. Connect while travelling. Connect with that natural world that seems so unwilling to let go of winter at this point! I guess its all about connection and camping has helped me achieve some of that and for that I am grateful.

Tips and tricks to camping with kids....hmmmm. Not sure I have any advice on that but to say get out and camp and let go of those things that keep you from connecting with them. We all know the story of the kid who got a toy and rather enjoyed playiing with the box instead. At my core I kinda believe in the box.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:31 AM   #34
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“I chose to have kids and I have an obligation to society to make them the best they can be.
Props to you on this comment! I wish more people in this world felt this way.

My wife and I have been trying for a few years to start a family with no success and it is threads like this that make me desire a family even more. As an adult I can still tell you stories about us camping as children like it was yesterday! The memories you are making with them now will surely last a lifetime. Kudos to all of you!
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #35
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Lots of great ideas!

Our kids are 7, 9, and 10. We started camping with them about 3 years ago.

LOVE the idea of the projector for movies so other kids can join in!

Our trips are typically planned around our kids, so our daily adventures will involve kayaking or tubing or swimming or a combination of that. But we all need to unwind.

- We have a tv/dvd player for late nights when they want to decompress as we sit outside by the fire.

- RAINY DAY GAMES. A must.

- Arts and crafts ALWAYS on hand. Paper, crayons, yarn, etc.

- Kid friendly, interactive camping desserts are always a hit. S'mores, banana boats, or just plain roasting a big fat marshmallow.

- I always have on hand some type of adventure, just in case. A scavenger hunt list, word puzzle, etc. Something they can do as a group or individually if they get the itch.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:34 PM   #36
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Lots of great ideas!

Our kids are 7, 9, and 10. We started camping with them about 3 years ago.

LOVE the idea of the projector for movies so other kids can join in!

Our trips are typically planned around our kids, so our daily adventures will involve kayaking or tubing or swimming or a combination of that. But we all need to unwind.

- We have a tv/dvd player for late nights when they want to decompress as we sit outside by the fire.

- RAINY DAY GAMES. A must.

- Arts and crafts ALWAYS on hand. Paper, crayons, yarn, etc.

- Kid friendly, interactive camping desserts are always a hit. S'mores, banana boats, or just plain roasting a big fat marshmallow.

- I always have on hand some type of adventure, just in case. A scavenger hunt list, word puzzle, etc. Something they can do as a group or individually if they get the itch.
Sounds familiar
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:55 PM   #37
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One thing I did on our 365saq fold down bunk, was add support legs. I've since redesigned the legs and added a dry erase board to the bottom of the bunk, along with a paper clip, so that when the bunk is folded up, it becomes an art easel. When the weather warms up I'll get some pictures.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:21 PM   #38
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One thing I did on our 365saq fold down bunk, was add support legs. I've since redesigned the legs and added a dry erase board to the bottom of the bunk, along with a paper clip, so that when the bunk is folded up, it becomes an art easel. When the weather warms up I'll get some pictures.
Great idea on the dry erase board! Going to have to do this one.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:28 PM   #39
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As I am in the process of cleaning out my current camper I have come up with some things I completely forgot about and thought I would mention them.

Water balloons and a water balloon filler, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, board games, walkie talkies (which are always a hit and useful for when you communicate with them at long distances), outdoor games, soccer balls, buckets for sand (been to some playgrounds with sand fill) lots of flshlights for flashlight tag........the list is endless and my basement is now full for the moment.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #40
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Since we are heading to the beach in a couple weeks, I have a canvas bag full of sand castle tools and a couple buckets. We also have the water balloons and launchers. Our house during the summer is a war zone with the neighbors. I usually have the advantage of having half the teenagers in town at my house, though. We also have the little remote control helicopters that anyone can fly. Lots of fun.
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