Our first stop on our 8 week camping adventure is in the beautiful Mt Buffalo area.
There has been a lot of excitement leading up to our departure. A lot of anticipated fun and adventure. As soon as we hopped in the car the questions started flowing. Can I...... It took a good 2 hours in the car for both the kids to calm down into a nice flow. No we were not going to draw, sticker, watch movies and listen to audio books simultaneously in the first 2 minutes of our journey. We would get a chance to do all of these things, EVENTUALLY.
Once we pulled into our first camp it was as late as 4:45pm so we needed to set up and gather wood fast before dark and cold fell. It was all hands on deck and the kids were so excited by it all that they wanted to do everything and be everywhere without any consideration for how it was hindering productivity to be under our feet. Their bodies were moving a a million miles an hour and they just couldn't keep still with all the excitement.
The next morning was the same, Ollie was leaping from one end of the caravan to the other with questions like, what's for breakfast, can we have morning tea, where are we going today, can I play lego, where are my boots, lets go fishing! all in a matter of 5 mins at 8am in the morning.
DEEP BREATHS, KEEP CALM, SMALL SPACE-HIGH ENERGY
How about you go outside and start exploring while we get breakfast started?
No you just want to stay in this small van with all of that energy?
OKAY time to set some new behaviors and routines in place. How is this going to work for us? What do we want to have happening as this is the time to set the expectations.
There is NO television! (Yay!!)
Unless you are sleeping or helping you are outside
Rug up and be warm so that you are successful in your outdoor pursuits
We need to put things away as soon as we are finished with them... A caravan is a very small space if it is packed full of mess
Playing with dials and knobs on our appliances can be very detrimental, if you are playing you should be outside!
NO SHOES in the van, particularly muddy boots!
Clothes will be worn days after day until they are too dirty to wear, then we only replace whats dirty.
Where ever possible, engage kids in all campsite life, wood collecting, fire lighting and maintenance, cooking, cleaning everything.
I need at least 5 mins in the morning, UNDISTURBED to get clean and dressed and make some order. If interrupted I am likely to have a tantrum (already happened twice in as many days :))
We all sat down and had a chat about this and agreed to work together and to be patient as we get used to living in a small space together.
Two days on and the kids are now entertaining them selves, outside most of the time. We are all sleeping well and are starting to slow down a little, not needing to speed around as much. We are getting used to the cold and finding ways to maintain warmth. Our beds a cosy at night which is fantastic. In slowing down everyone, including the kids are less frantic and more present in just being here and experiencing.
We have learnt that setting up our campsite is more than just getting the van up and set. We also need to erect the hammock, get out the bikes, put up the rope swing and make a base for the kids to call home. These camp comforts will give some familiarity throughout our journey and give the kids a safety zone to explore for the time it takes them to suss out a new space and feel comfortable to explore. These camp comforts also give the kids something to focus on while routine times like cooking and cleaning are underway.
We have had a marvelous time at our first camp, but have also learnt a lot in regards to what we will do differently at the next one. We are excited to move on tomorrow to Wilson's Promontory and set up our next home :)