Monday, March 26, 2012

Quick Camping Lessons

Camping in a way is forming a new civilization of it is done in the true American way. I am speaking of pitching a tent and creating a campfire. The lessons are endless almost with this type of camping.

If you pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere, you have to clear the land. In clearing the land, you learn about tools, plants and even some leveling. A smart camper learns quickly to put his or her tent on moss or at least on a layer of carpet. The carpet keeps moisture out. The carpet and moss protect against tears in the tent from rocks or other things under the ground surface that may come uncovered.

A smart camper also quickly learns the difference between harmless plants and plants that can cause rashes and other harm. Never make a campsite near poison oak or poison ivy. Take the time parents, learn these harmful plants, and educate the children as well.

Parents also need to teach their children to take care of food and to keep the campsite clean of any food scraps. This means bread, chips, candy, and snacks need to be in plastic containers so that there is no odor to call the animals.

Coolers, dishes, and tabletops should be washed often to keep pests from entering the camping area. Parents will also need to make certain that small children have their faces and hands washed often as they tend to get food all over them. It would be a shame if a bear wandered into camp to eat the creamed spinach that your infant dribbled down his sun suit.

The campfire is also a great area for lessons to be learned. Gathering wood should not be just one person's job; small children can gather sticks or small stuff to use when an adult starts a fire. Stick a box for the children to fill near a tree and allow the children to fill it. Teach them why they need to gather the small stuff, and explain the dangers of fire when starting a fire.

Explain why the fire needs to be contained in the fire pit; a forest fire is an awful thing to start. Take the time also to explain what type of stick is needed to push the burning logs around to slow down the fire or speed it up.

I hope that your children will never need to make a fire themselves. What happens if you get hurt out in the middle of nowhere and fall ill, you child may have to build a fire to signal help. It is better to teach them this lesson so they can do it, if it is ever needed. Teach them the ways of camping and they can carry these lessons and adapt them as needed in their lives.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rainy Day activities

Camping games for rainy days are a Godsend if you are stuck in a tent or camper while the rain pours down outside. If you do not plan ahead and take some games for rainy days while camping, then you will need to get creative.

Camping Games for Rainy days are the focus of this article, and all of these games are geared towards older children and adults alike. Games like Phase ten dice, Yahtzee, and Flinch have been around for years and are part of my sister Carmon's arsenal, which she shared with us on a rainy day of camping lately.

Camping is a great activity for families to enjoy together, and it can be a great way to teach different things that will stick with a child forever. There are many lessons to be learned while camping and they all promote teamwork and working together.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Win a Book Contest!

One of my favorite things to do while I am camping is relax like everyone else, but when I get very relaxed I tend to work. When I am in the midst of Mother Nature, my muse floods me with ideas for stories. Of course, when Mother Nature inspired my muse, anything is possible. Most of the stories I have written for my own books or my stories in Circle 8 Writers Group have been ‘born’ at the family campgrounds.  My muse just enjoys the serenity of the wooded acres on my sister’s land.

I can often be seen lunging in the chair under the trees with a pen in hand. I am a writer it is what I do, more importantly it is who I am. I have never been one to leave my work at home since I began writing full time back in 2007.  Sometimes when my muse is kept at bay, I read a good book. I believe there is nothing like getting lost in the words between the cover of a notebook or a good novel.

SO anyways, Angel Sharum who founded the Circle 8 Writers Group is currently running a contest through March 31. The winner gets an autographed copy of one of our six books. Please visit her blog and get your entry in there today, we also have a Facebook Fan page.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day I hope you have your green on.!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Camping with Fresh Berries

There are many uses for fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. These are three berries, which are coming into season, and if you are lucky, you can pick them right off the vine, if not, visit your local fruit stand or grocery department. Grab your own raspberries, blueberries and blackberries today.

The freshest raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries can right off the vine and this is a great family activity. If you live in one of the small towns around America, you can find these berries growing wild. There are also berry farms where you can pick your own for a nominal fee.

I love to eat fresh berries right off the vine, but when I go camping, it is a whole other ball game. My favorite way to eat them is straight from the vine but there are other ways. When the morning dew is still fresh on the fruit is the best time to pick raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. You can sprinkle them on unsweetened cereal to make it more healthy and it does not add as many calories as sugar would.
At lunchtime when you go camping, you can toss any raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries one to plain pudding or vanilla ice cream for a special dessert. If you are eating a fruit salad, you can toss these berries in the mix as well.

For a special dessert, purchase a plain pound or angel food cake. Slice it but before serving this, top with raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries and whipped cream or cool whip.

You can also add raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries to batter for great campfire pancakes. These pancakes will keep the kids and adults alike eating. Syrup is okay but these griddlecakes are also good when spread with peanut butter or topped with butter only.

If your family enjoys making mountain pies the raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries make a wonderful addition. Simply butter a slice of bread put it in the pig iron sandwich maker, top with the berries and a buttered slice of bread. Grill this as usual. These sweet pockets make a sweet delicious and healthy treat for your family. You can add a bit of sugar to the fruit if needed but it is not necessary.

A very special treat if you have a Dutch oven at your campsite is to make a cake with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Simply prepare a white cake batter as usual and pour over the fresh berries. Bake as usual; on a campfire, which is, build in a fire pit that has grates above the flame to prevent burning. If you have never baked a cake on a grill, here are some easy directions.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place on unheated side of grill grate. Allow this to bake for about 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. You will need to turn the pan during the cooking process to prevent burning. Carefully remove Dutch oven from campfire pit grill and allow cooling.