MAMA LOVE ... camping (a lil' bit)

… This mama doesn’t love camping, but she does dig all the super cool camping stuff. My fave (by far) is the camping blender. I quipped to my girl friend that I’d only go camping if there was a blender and voila, she delivered. Clamp the blender down to the immovable picnic table, fill with ice and tequila (uhm, smoothie mixings) and crank to crush. Even camping is doable with a tropical slushy drink in hand.

… Mama loves free stuff . Even more, mama loves rich life experiences. Plumas-Eureka State Park delivered both when my kiddos became bonafide California Junior Rangers and scored the quintaessential summer enrichment logbook and a very shiny metal pin. The free Junior Ranger logbook is a 20-page wildlife activities guide chalk full of open-ended questions to promote wildlife stewardship and brimming with interesting factoids about animals, nature and Cali history.

… Dirt, bugs and more bugs. The mosquitoes were relentless in Yosemite and for some insane reason, I was afraid to use too much Bug-off (bad mama maneuver). However, I was thrilled to have Kids After Itch Bite – The Itch Eraser. My 5YO daughter could “erase” the bites herself – dabbing on cooling cream to her red, bumpy arm. She actually stopped SCREAMING (and kicking!) and began doing a body search for more bug bites to “erase.” Winner!

… Mostly, mama loves books and I hit gold (pun intended) while camping this summer. My faves: “Oh, Ranger! True Stories from the National Park,” “Be a Park Ranger,” “Life in the Old West” series, and of course the Yosemite National Park “Junior Ranger Handbook.” Unlike Cali parks, the national park handbook cost $3.50 each and is well worth the cost.

... Okay, so mama loves camping a lil’ bit afterall. With many of the CA State Parks in jeopardy of closing, I feel especially motivated to show my children these magical places. As for the books? I will actually encourage my kids to drag these favorites through the dirt as we endeavor to fill the logbooks with super-cool Park stamps that detail our outdoor adventures, time travel and funniest family stories.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” - John Muir

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