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Our Third Annual Family Camp-out

Every September for the past three years we have gathered our friends and embarked on a camping trip at a local county park, Smithville Lake. We started off with 8 families, 14 children, and a total of 30 people spending one night under the stars.  This year we had 12 families, 16 kids, and a total of 36 people and for the first time ever we had more people spend two nights and not one.

The weather this year resembled the first camping trip three years ago. Our first night was pretty brutal. The wind was strong up till about nine p.m. and then the clouds blew away and the temperature dropped.  Those of us who have been to every camping trip had a jolly time of reminiscing about the similarities! 

Each year we have some type of "organized" activity. I based this year's theme on games from my childhood. My mother always took us to small town celebrations where we played the funniest games. This year's theme was Family Competition.  Luckily for us the cold, windy, foggy weather burned off as the day progressed and we were left with a sunny, warm and perfect late summer day. (Anyone else get sunburned?)

We asked each family to make and bring a "family flag". We lined them up at the start line of our games. 

Our first game was an old fashioned Shoe Kickin' contest. Each family member got a kick and we averaged their score. The Bell family won the contest but the Sampson dad has the longest kick! After a lunch break the games resumed with a game designed for kids under the age of 5. Their game was a Penny Scramble. I hid various coins in cornmeal and the kids had to scramble to find as many coins as they could. Little Jetta was the big winner of this contest! 

Other games we played were the three-legged races, sack races, Chubby Bunny, and a football toss. Each game brought about a good laugh and wonderful family moments! I should say The Peterson family officially won the three-legged races,Allie and Kimber won the child/adult Chubby Bunny contest,  Jenny won the football toss, and I am happy that most of the women found a way to beat their husbands in the spouse vs spouse sack races.  Cheating was allowed in the race!

Another tradition at the family camp-out is a craft. Normally we do t-shirts but this year we made camping lanterns. The Dads stepped up and organized the craft since it involved drilling. The Moms did not complain as it game them a chance to sit and relax! OR, be silly...

The Real Housewives of Smithville Lake...ha ha! In case you can't tell those are marshmallows in our hands. When was the last time those Beverly Hills ladies went camping?

Of course we have to discuss food at the family camp-out. We made foil packets for dinner on Friday. We made eggs in a bag on Saturday morning and they were a big hit! We used a fish fryer to boil water and each person made their individual bag and cooked their eggs in the bag in the hot water.

Saturday lunch is our traditional Walking Taco's. Saturday night has become a traditional hot dog buffet. We provide many different ways to cook hot dogs on a campfire and let people get crazy. Thanks to Kimber, we also had campfire jalapeno poppers, and of course we had smore's. Have you tried the worlds best smore yet?

Luckily for us, we woke up on the second morning and the sun was shining with a pretty sky. End on a high note, huh!

Thank you to each and every person who joined us. We have such a great time on this camping trip and that is because each of you brighten our world. Can't wait till next year. Mark your calendar: third weekend in Sept. If you have never joined, you should really think about it!

See you next year!

In case you were wondering this was my families 8th camp-out this year!  We have one more left in the year.


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