Editor's Note - Congratulations to Emily and her husband Brad delivering a healthy baby girl on June 24th. Another little happy camper!

With baby number two soon on the way we’ve been taking our trailer out a lot this month to get some quality time with our family of three. Three times already! This trip took us to the church family camp of my husband’s church growing up. He’s been attending this since he was young so it’s been something our little family has enjoyed for years too. Now with our own little one we’ve been glad to carry on the tradition and watch him enjoy this time to the fullest. Our son loves being outside and exploring so we were really looking forward to enjoying this trip together and watching our precious little Nolan make memories at a place so near and dear to our hearts.

The camp is located on lakefront property about three hours from our home. With our trailer fully packed with the essentials and some beach toys, we hit the road. We once again brought along our cat, Tiger, which is such a nice option with an RV since there is no need for a pet sitter. Nolan loved having her ride close to him in her kennel as we drove the many miles to camp.

Once we arrived, Nolan’s favorite thing to do was play in the sand with toys and his new friends at the camp. I love those instant childhood friendships that kids develop, so this was extra fun to watch. He still stayed close to Mommy and Daddy, with so many new faces at camp, but it helped that Grandma and Papa were there too as this is still their church family. Many hours were spent digging, scooping, and driving toy trucks through the sand and dirt. For shelter from both the rain and sun as needed, we set up some pop-up canopy tents. This kept us dry and comfortable as we played and supervised all the fun time at the beach.


Fun at the beach

When it was meal time our little “chow hound” had worked up quite an appetite and was excited to wash up and get in his booster seat for eating. At the beginning of each meal a child was allowed to ring the special “dinner” bell, telling everyone at camp it was eating time. Whether he was ringing or watching others ring the bell, Nolan looked forward to this each time.


"Chow Hound"


Ringing the Dinner Bell

During Nolan’s nap and bedtime, the fun and relax time didn’t need to stop. We parked our trailer within range of the baby monitor so we could still sit at the beach or around the campfire throughout the duration of his sleep time. With some activities outside the range of the monitor, my husband  and I took turns staying close enough to keep eyes and ears on our little man. When we wanted time to do things together, we were so thankful Grandma was willing to stay within range of the monitor. Such a precious gift to have amazing Grandparents for our kids!

Brad and I enjoyed going out in a paddle boat together when the weather was nice. Though my pregnant belly got in the way some as I was peddling- peddling a bit bow legged allowed me to help keep us moving out on the water. It was so peaceful and enjoyable and I’m so thankful for any pockets of time that give me one on one time with my husband.

Brad enjoyed fishing from the dock during our stay. Without spending extensive time fishing, he was able to catch three fish. The fishing was pretty good this year. While most of the fish were decent sized Rainbow Trout, some people even caught large Cut Throat Trout and Bass. Nolan is still a bit too young to have patience and interest in fishing for more than a brief period, but we look forward to the day we get to buy him his first fishing pole and watch him enjoy this too. Once he got his fish cleaned and prepped, Brad enjoyed cooking his fish over the camp fire and eating it warm as soon as it was ready. What a treat!

While I felt a bit too unbalanced to join in with my large pregnant belly, there were plenty of kayaks available for use too. Brad and his dad, along with many others at the camp, enjoyed paddling around the lake along side one another. Such a peaceful activity and a great work out as well. Whenever they could gather players to fill the court, Brad enjoyed playing many rounds of volleyball - my favorite! But being 8 ½ months pregnant I cheered him on in spirit and took opportunities to come watch from the sidelines or bring Nolan along.

Nolan was so interested watching Daddy and Papa play, but he also loved the short, but fascinating walk from the main camp area to the field. Whether he was enjoying snacks in his jogger or walking hand in hand with mommy, he loved to point out and collect special rocks, branches, sticks with moss, etc. My hands quickly got filled as he asked me to hold these precious rocks and sticks, since there were just too many special things for Nolan to carry himself. So adorable to watch him enjoy exploring so much and such a great reminder to find joy in the little things and to truly take in the beauty all around us. Nolan is such a talker already and I love to hear him giving the play by play as we go through our day. At the end of each day as we said our bedtime prayers, Nolan thanked God for so many little details at camp. I know he had such a blast and I pray this is something we can continue to return to year after year.


Thankful for the little things

When camp came to a close, Nolan said goodbye to his newly made friends, and to Grandma and Papa. Then after gathering up our toys and camp chairs, we hit the road for home. What a memorable trip for our little family. Crazy to think that the next time we vacation we may be a family of four since our precious daughter to be is due in the middle of June! Whether your next trip takes you near or far, with family or friends - have a great time building memories together. Happy Travels!

Emily Helgeson
Author: Emily Helgeson
Emily Helgeson lives with her husband and two children in Eastern Washington. They enjoy adventuring together and are learning how to use their RV to continue this lifestyle with their growing family.

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