Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Camper Ready To Get Back In The Game

Spring Mill, Indiana
OK, now that I've had a couple of weekends camping, I feel much better and ready to chase some deadlines and commitments.  This past weekend we took a family trip to Spring Mill State Park nearby Mitchell, Indiana, and once we got there and set up, a lot of things when excitedly right over the next two days.  Highlights:
  • To arrive at the campsite, I followed the check-in lady's customized-with-a-highlighter map.  Unfortunately, I found myself having to pull in forward instead of backing in.  Fortunately, pop-up campers are easy to rotate 180% by hand, especially with the help of a campsite neighbor.
  • The extreme heat is letting up!  Darling Bride and I got perhaps the best night's sleep in quite a while, especially camping.  Sleep is good, especially when camping, where we use a lot more energy doing camping stuff.
  • Modern technology is a beautiful thing as a camping aid.  We reserved our site on-line, allowing us to find a great spot nearby modern restrooms and a playground.
  • Indiana history times two!  The park is built around an 1800s era pioneer village that was anchored by a huge grist mill that ground corn.  It was powered by a constant supply of water that came out of a nearby cave.  The tour guides called it "an 1800s industrial park."  This village is perhaps one of the best preserved anywhere!
  • Gus Grissom's Molly Brown
    Gus Grissom's Molly Brown
    100 years after the mill's heyday, the nearby town of Mitchell produced America's second man in space, Virgil "Gus" Grissom.  He died in a tragic Apollo I accident in January, 1967.  The memorial in the park contains the "Molly Brown" space capsule, a space suit, and hundreds of artifacts.  The ability to combine two very different history contexts in one weekend is really quite something.
  • We have a 66 2/3% approval rating from the 18 and under demographic.  Our oldest is a high school man now.  As part of his transition to independence, he would prefer not to go on these trips. While I appreciate that (I myself wanted nothing to do with a 1983 camping trip with my mom and brother to this same Spring Mill State Park), we are working on trying to create a win/win for him and us.  Providing his own tent on site is a start.  As they say, 2 out of 3...
  • We made it back with equipment and van intact and ready to go again!
When we RV camp, we like to go places that have things to do and places to see.  We don't like roughing it.  A pop-up camper, with its combination steel and canvas sheltering, is roughing it for me.
A great thing about being a homeschooling family is that this is not the last chance before the school year begins.  Instead, school is life and life is school.  Even more, since the original definition of "school" includes the concept of "group" (Why are fish so smart?  Because they travel in schools!  Ha ha ha...), I say home education is life and life is home education.  We start the books, computers, and paper part of home education in maybe two weeks or so.  Even so, there are more camping trips coming up this season yet than we have had so far.
Gus Grissom's Choices and Risks
Gus Grissom's Choices and Risks
Now go take your family and go do something interesting!  Your "to-do" list will be here when you get back.
Before you go, though, leave a comment about what you've done, doing, or would like to do!

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