Oh, friends. What a wonderful problem I am having right now. ClassMax is doing so incredibly well. So much better, so much earlier than we expected. Which is AMAZING and we are so grateful for this weird journey we are on, but it has thrown us for quite a loop here in the homeland. Our days are full and our nights are even busier as we work to enter the next phase of development for ClassMax, which only leaves those precious afternoon hours of shuffling kids from one place to another and, if we’re lucky, grabbing dinner all together in one location.
Because of this schedule, we took full advantage of a weekend away this weekend with Cub Scouts to unplug and spend time with our family. Our Cub Scout pack went camping at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness and it was just as fun as you might imagine camping at Disney would be. In fact, I was so enamored with Disney that I completely forgot that there would still be BUGS at their campgrounds and not just fairies and pirates and magical things and I didn’t put bug spray on the entire time we were there. So, I came home looking like I had some kind of pox on my arms and legs.
We arrived at the campground on Friday afternoon and set up our tent and camp. We had about 50 people camping with us and so we camped in the group area called “Creekside Meadow.” Each group site holds up to 50 campers and has your own fire ring, 4 grills, and 6 tables. We set up two big tents over the table area and our kitchen area over by our pack trailer. It was a really nice space for camping and the kids loved it because there were beach volleyball courts, tether ball, woods to run in, and several other large groups with lots of kids running around, too. In fact, we barely saw Bean and Gracie when we were at the campsite.
(Three coffee pots and it still wasn’t enough…)
We had some really great camping meals while we were there. One morning, we made omelettes. We laid out cut up deli ham, green and red peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheese. You took a little sandwich bag and filled it with whatever ingredients you wanted. Then, we poured eggs into the bags with all your fixings. We had a big pot of boiling water on the stove and everyone wrote their names on their bags and threw them into the pot to boil. In about 10 minutes, your eggs were ready and they were DELICIOUS! We make these quite often when camping and every time I wonder why I don’t make them at home! So fast and healthy!
We had walking tacos one night, too. I didn’t get a picture because those are one of my favorite foods and I was so excited I forgot to take a picture. You cook ground beef (we also had ground turkey in a separate pan) and season it with taco seasoning. Then, you take a single serving size bag of chips. Doritos or Fritos work best, in my opinion. You crunch the chips in the bag until they are just crumbs. Then, you add the meat and top with your favorite taco toppings – cheese, onions, tomatoes, salsa, lettuce. You eat straight out of the chip bag with a spoon and it is HEAVENLY. Always a crowd pleaser and the boys asked for them all weekend long after that.
The second night, we made beef and vegetable foil packs. I’ve done these before with diced chicken, vegetables, and a little bit of Italian salad dressing, but this one was really good, too. We had all kinds of veggies – carrots, sliced potatoes (a crowd pleaser), cans of corn, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cans of Rotel tomatoes. You took a square of aluminum foil and laid down pieces of cabbage. The cabbage was to protect your food from burning and it did a great job. Then, you filled your cabbage leaves with any kind of vegetables you wanted. Next, you put in a small spoonful of cream of chicken soup, to add a little moisture during cooking. Lastly, we added about a hamburger-sized beef pattie to the top of our vegetables. We wrapped up the ends of the foil and put them onto the grill to cook over hot coals (no flame). It came out and tasted just like meatloaf! It was surprisingly good!
Again, I have no final picture of the meal because I ate it. Bad blogger.
Other than food, there was a lot to do at Ft. Wilderness. We hiked about a mile down to a big lake where all the camp events take place. We played on the playground for a while and then walked over to the stables where the horses that pull the Magic Kingdom carriages are stabled. They were HUGE! And their stables were beautiful.
Then, we took a boat ride over to two other Disney resorts. We thought about stopping at one of the resorts and having lunch, but decided against it. We didn’t get off the boat, but it was a fun 45-minute boat ride for the kiddos – and adults, too! It was a gorgeous day out on the water!
Once we got back to the campsite, we had a quick hot dog lunch and then headed over to the Ft. Wilderness pool area, which was so much fun! They had a big water slide and a huge pool. Plus, there was a snack bar with the best frozen strawberry lemonade and a little playground right outside the pool area. We ended up spending most of the afternoon playing here. (Although, again, very little pictures. Bad blogger.)
Late that afternoon as we got back to the campsite, we all showered and changed into fresh clothes and piled around the campfire for a flag retirement ceremony. I had never been to one before and, honestly, had never given much thought to what happened to a flag when it was old. Our pack master cut all the stripes out into slips and passed them out to everyone in our group. You keep the stars together in one piece because they represent all the states together, and you don’t want to separate those. After a little ceremony where we acknowledge the symbolism of the flag and its history, each person comes forward and throws their piece of the flag into the fire. The last piece put in is the large rectangle of blue with stars. It was really neat to see.
The neatest part to me was that the next morning, some of the older Scouts dug the metal grommets from the flag out of the ashes, as a keepsake. I thought that was pretty neat.
After the flag retirement ceremony (and dinner), we walked over to the outdoor movie that the campground was showing. We saw “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and had popcorn all outside on big risers. It was a lot of fun and the boys loved it. Afterwards, we headed back to our camp and had s’mores before turning in for the night.
We always have a great time camping with our Cub Scout pack and this weekend was no exception. I think it was made even sweeter by the fact that our family time has been so limited this year since the launch of ClassMax. Chris and I love working hard. We love the lesson it teaches our kids. We love the excitement of something new that it brings to our marriage. We love the goal setting, the dreaming, and the go, go, go. But sometimes, it’s nice to stop and soak up that time with our family and to be reminded that we do it all for our family.