One of my goals is to make room in life regularly for adventure, because it is a core value for our family. We often do this by going camping and we typically wait for warm weather and camp in tents.
success: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose
adventure: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity
In order to get in an additional trip, and start the season earlier, I decided to try getting a cabin. So this weekend my husband and I took our 4 boys, all under age 7 and stayed at a KOA cabin near Charlottesville for two nights. The forecast said a passing shower on Friday.
We explored the city on Saturday, and walked down Charlotteville’s historic pedestrian mall, and then found a delightful city park with a rocky shallow river that the boys could walk in. (But only our most adventurous two got in because the water was freezing.)
The trip held some less than ideal surprises. It rained twice. One child fell out of a bunk bed. Another threw up on a bunkbed. (They’re both fine.) But our boys loved the cabin and enjoyed the nearby playground and the short nature trail that looped around the campground.
The only real disappointment for me was that our Saturday evening campfire got rained out and by the time the rain stopped we were too snuggled into the cabin, playing video games and watching March Madness to go back outside, except for a few minutes to admire the bright stars that showed up once the clouds disappeared.
Our typical goal for camping is to be in a tent, and have a weekend full of campfires, hiking, no screens and no shopping, but it rained Sat night on our fire and we watched basketball instead, the boys played games on their tablets quite a bit, and we went shopping twice for necessary or forgotten items.
So how do I judge the success of the weekend?
It was a complete success, because we got out of our normal routine – we looked for adventure and found it. While I would have liked more sleep and less rain, what is important is that we went, we made some great memories, and we’re living out our values as a family. We are writing our story, being persistent in seeking out adventure, and finding ways to be outside, even with young children, in the offseason, and on a budget.
It’s important how we frame our goals, and our values, and to keep things in perspective. I wasn’t expecting a relaxing vacation. I was working hard to facilitate an adventurous weekend for my family, and we had one.
Note: A positive side effect was that while I came back a bit physically exhausted and sore, I also came back mentally refreshed. I’m almost as excited about that as I am about planning the next trip and reminiscing with my boys, “remember that time we…”.