A short post today, as we’re heading “off the grid” for a three-day camping trip in the western Adirondacks. Realizing that we’ll have no wifi access — not even dependable cellphone access — is kind of humbling. My girls know to leave their iPads behind. Of course, the iPods and DSs are still coming for the car ride, but once we are there, the kids are surprisingly able to amuse themselves with each other in the woods and by the lake.

Our annual July camping trip started off in 2001 with just the two of us and our 2-year-old twins in a lovely small campground at Mont Tremblant Provincial Park, and it’s now grown into an 11-family extravaganza, all with children under 13 years old. We swim, canoe, do at least one 5 or 6-hour hike to the top of a nearby mountain, and spend a lot of wonderful time with friends making great memories and fabulous meals. It’s amazing how much time gets spent on food preparation and clean-up when you don’t have a sink, dishwasher or microwave!

We all enjoy the chance to unplug and spend some time with simpler things, though a couple of the adults, anxious about work, sometimes drive to the nearest cellphone hotspot to check their email. We have toys no more sophisticated that water soakers, frisbees, balls, bubbles and markers. We never once hear “I’m bored!”  When they aren’t collecting sticks or helping cook on the fire, the kids find all sorts of things to do with sticks and games of chase. It’s really idyllic, particularly if you don’t mind the grime.

Wishing you all a wonderful mid-summer weekend!