Monday, May 17, 2010

Raccoons In the Tent and Other Fears

Camping is a wonderful family activity.  It gets the kiddos and adults outside to really enjoy and connect with nature. 

Studies show kids who connect with nature have less problems with hyperactivity and ADHD and are able to concentrate better.

A book called "Last Child in the Woods"  sheds light on something called Nature Deficit Disorder the truth of many children growing up totally disconnected from the outdoors.

Yes, nature seems to cause both a medicinal and therapeutic effect.

That is unless you are a 4 year old and scared stiff that raccoons will take over your camp site.
We were driving down the road when we mentioned to our 4 year old he could camp with Daddy and older brother this weekend at the cub scout camp out.  At first, he seemed interested and very excited about this "big boy" activity.

"Can I show them my Power Ranger moves?" he said.

Then I looked up to see his face in my rear view mirror.  You could see the gears turning and his face had a look of concern.

"Do raccoons come into your tent when you are sleeping?"  he asked with such seriousness.

I knew no matter what I said he still would believe those masked bandits made a nasty habit out of going rogue on little boy camp outs.

We assured him that raccoons did not come into your tent and that you zipped the tent up at night.

Another glance in my mirror confirmed what I thought, those gears in his little head, well, they weren't buying it.

Then he asked me if a moose was shy or would a moose come into his tent?

 We again assured him that we didn't really have to worry about a moose here in these parts like they did in Canada.

(Thanks to PBS's Canadian children's program Cailou for that new fear)

So finally it came down to the wire: would our little boy choose camping out with his dad and big brother to brave possible coon attacks or would he decide to stay home and go to the fishing activity the next morning?

"I want to sleep at the house with Mommy."

And he knows Mommy is sleeping in her nice comfy bed and then driving over to the campground, which is only three miles away, to catch fish in broad daylight.

It's a safe call, no wily raccoons, no interrupting Cailou moose, just mommy and another brother ferrying over to the safety of the daytime campsite.

Fishing with all three boys proved wonderful outdoor fun and maybe next year a certain boy will decide to defend his campsite from those rascally raccoons.

But this year it makes me smile that he still wants to hang at the safe house with his Mommy.


Cindy said...

Sweet story! :)

Michelle said...

Aw, I love this story! And I'd love to check out that book! ♥

Juliet Robertson said...

I can so sympathise. When I lived in Canada and when camping (for about 12 weeks) I did live in fear of a coon ripping my tent, bears mauling me, stepping through poison ivy and a skunk getting me. We don't have to deal with such incidents here in the safe ol' UK!

None of this happened. I lived to tell the tale.

Best wishes