(Note: THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY RUN IN EARLY SEPTEMBER...Remember Always Home and Uncool's Father's Day guest post? If not, you can read it here. Well, due to popular demand, our resident dad is here again to share some information about the upcoming family camp out at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. Kevin, thanks for your time and for appearing here again. Come back again soon!)
My sheltered childhood in Fairfield County is a running joke to my wife, especially when we're in the presence of her friends and family back in Nebraska, a state where kids harvest corn for spare cash, live for college football and are required to kill and dress their own supper at least once before puberty.
"You've never fired a gun?!" she'd say, quite loudly and exasperated. "You've never driven a tractor?! You've never tipped a cow?!"
"Well, you know, he IS a city boy," someone in her Midwestern audience would throw out in my defense.
"Uh-uh," I'd reply, arms akimbo and my so-called chest thrust out in mock-heroic pose. "I am … Suburb Boy!"
And, as Suburb Boy, I had never gone camping. That is, until the parents of my son's best friend talked us into joining them last spring on the meadow at Stamford Museum & Nature Center for its Family Camp Out.
Fellow parents, if you want to get your kids away from the video screens and back to nature for a night without the inconvenience of, say, having to go behind a tree and wipe with a leaf you hope isn't poison ivy, then this is just for you.
The Stamford Museum & Nature Center Family Campout -- the next is Saturday, Sept. 27 -- is pain-free camping for those who don't like to camp. All you need is a tent, sleeping bags, some flashlights and maybe a bottle of insect repellant (hey, you do have to be outside). You pull your car right up the picnic ground next to the nature center pond, pitch your tent and you're done. Seriously.
The Stamford Museum provides a barbeque dinner, snack and kid-friendly drinks, a guided tour of the farm (plus plenty of staff members who can answer the kiddies' questions), and even a bonfire with all the trimmings for s'mores. You can even head up to the Observatory for a look through the telescope or a show at the planetarium before turning in. The next morning, the staff flips up a pancake breakfast!
Bathrooms, I assure you, are always only a few yards away and stocked with TP.
The only hitch our family had when we did the campout earlier this year was when, at 5 a.m., the sky started to rumble and the rains came. Would have been fine with that, but then came the lightning … and we pitched out tent next to the flagpole. Yeah, Suburb Boy strikes again … or is it, tries to be struck?
Anyway, we simply loaded our sleeping bags, clothes and coolers into the minivan, and headed home (we live 5 minutes away) and had pancakes at home. We returned a few hours later, after the rain stopped, chowed down a remaining sausage or two, packed up the tents and that was that.
So, join me on Sept. 27, and let your little Suburb Boy or Girl sleep in the wild for a night, hassle-free.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center Fall Family Campout
Saturday, Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m. to Sunday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m.
Pre-registration is required. Call 203.322.1646, ext. 6521.
Members: $95 one parent/child; $30 per additional family member.
Non-Members: $130 one parent/child; $30 per additional family member.
For more information, click here.