So for the second time this year, soon to be third, we have made another trip out to our favorite place in America - Greenville, Maine. Typically we stay in a small cabin that overlooks the beautiful Moosehead Lake but this trip we decided to rent a camper and camp it out. We were also going to be bringing along Carlos’ two boys for the first time as well. A lot of new things with this trip!
Our adventure started off sort of rocky, the boys’ mother was being very difficult about pick up time and ended up waiting until the last minute (literally 30 seconds away from contempt) to drop them off to us. Not to have our adventurous spirits squashed we decided that we would leave town that night anyway. It’s a six hour drive from where we are and we had made arrangements to stop at a Walmart on the way for some sleep. Both the boys were super stoked about going camping but were fast asleep within the first few minutes of being on our way. We made it to our Walmart location, wicked tired (it was about 2am) and piled into the camper for a quick sleep.
The next morning after a quick Dunkin Donuts stop, in pure New England fashion, we were once again on our way to our favorite place. The campground was perfectly positioned right outside of the town but literally less than a mile from the town grocery store, which by the way is pretty much the most amazing place to go if you need anything, it’s like a small town Walmart with a sporting goods store attached to it. We got our camper all settled in and then released the children into the wilderness that was our little camp site. At first I wasn’t sure how the kids were going to take. They’re both pretty young (2 & 4) and this was essentially their first camping trip. To my surprise the oldest, Vince, took to the camp life almost immediately. He was running around gathering sticks, poking at worms and throwing around this little frisbee disc I got from the dollar store. He was in outdoor heaven. The littlest one not so much, I think it’s fair to say it took him about a whole day to warm up to the idea of having to be outside and do things.
When I look through our pictures from the trip I just laugh at how many things we were able to accomplish in one whole day. We played with the kids outside, we cooked turkey burgers and hotdogs on the fire, we explored the town and stopped at a few bodies of water to let the kids play around and so much more. Nighttime was my favorite part. All of us all snuggled up in the small space, the kids slept on the table bed and Carlos and I were on the actual bed but everything was pretty much right on top of each other. I turned on a random radio station that played through the camper, turned out to be soft christian music, it was perfection.
Leaving of course was the hardest part, and always is when we visit here. But it was a very successful trip and one we plan to make with the kids again sometime next spring. As of now, Carlos and I are planning our new year’s in our favorite Greenville cabin! <3
Prior to leaving for our trip I did some searching on ideas to keep the kids occupied and involved without resorting to cellphone entertainment, which honestly you lose all cellphone service as soon as you get there - another reason we love the place! I also checked up on what the weather was going to be like while we were there so I could pack accordingly. Here are some tips on what worked for us on our camping trip.
1. Kids Activity Bag - This bag was honestly a life saver! I wanted the kids to have things to play with but I wasn’t about to pack their whole toy box. Staying in a small camper, you need to pack super light and easy to avoid clutter (I super hate clutter!). I also wanted the kids to use their imagination and explore a little, so I didn’t want to bring all sorts of toys. I brought them 2 digger trucks that they could use to put dirt, leaves and rocks in and a couple matchbox cars to roll around in the dirt with. I bought a bug catching kit and a frisbee disc from the dollar store, again, things that keep them moving around outside. Since we were going to have at least one day of rain while we were there I packed and planned some things the kids could do inside the camper (coloring books, puzzles, books to read and a “leaf people” craft) and held off on letting them use any of those things until the rainy day. Kids get bored easy so I didn’t want to give them everything I had brought all at once risking the chance that they would have colored/puzzled/playdoh'd themselves before rainy day. Everything fit perfectly into one medium sized backpack. This made it easy to carry, everything had a place and it took up hardly any space.
2. Bring Extra Clothes - Essentially we were only at the campsite about 2 nights, not including the overnight at the Walmart. However, I packed for about 5 whole days and I was so glad I did. Camping is super dirty when you’re having fun! Vince basically soaked himself at every place we stopped with water, this kid was walking through a stream almost waist deep just because he thought it was so fun. I was super thankful for extra shoes and lots of extra underwear!
3. Keep Meals Simple - I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating Pinterest is when it comes to camping meals. I like to keep things cheap, simple and clean and I can’t justify lugging around a crockpot or spending a whole day wrapping foods up in foil - not to mention all the groceries you have to buy. Only camping for a few days just made those ideas seem like overkill. We visited the grocery store by the campsite and bought just enough to feed us. A couple packages of ground turkey, hamburger buns, loaf of bread we could use for peanut butter sandwiches and as hotdog buns, hotdogs, chips, poptarts and a couple little oven pizzas for the rainy day. We brought some of our own stuff we already had from home like peanut butter, crackers and ketchup. I brought along leftover plates, cups, napkins and silverware from a birthday party we had earlier this year for one of the kids. We were more than fed, we didn’t have a camper fridge full of food to empty at the end and everything worked out well. :)