I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Adam is the Assistant Den Leader for Braden’s Cub Scout pack. I really want to insert a picture here of him in his Cub Scout uniform, but I kind of like being married so maybe I shouldn’t..
Oops.. seems like I did! How could I not share that picture though? Look how happy Braden looks! He loves his Daddy and loves that he is so active with his Cub Scout buddies. This past weekend, the pack had a camp out at Camp Chowenwaw Park.
Camp Chowenwaw Park is a 150 – acre site that Clay County purchased in the Spring of 2006 from the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council. The Girl Scouts operated the camp for more than 70 years before deciding to relocate. The parcel has 100 acres of wetlands and 50 acres of uplands, and is located at the mouth of Black Creek. This relatively pristine site contains predominantly undisturbed upland and wetland natural communities. Camp Chowenwaw Park is located on 1.5 miles of shoreline on Black Creek and Peters Creek and provides a habitat for many water birds. The aquatic vegetation provides foraging areas for the St. Johns River manatee population as well as an ideal habitat for many fish species. Bald eagles, river otters, white tailed deer, turkeys, alligators, foxes, raccoons, migrating songbirds, as well as frogs, lizards, snakes, and turtles are just a few of the creatures you might see while visiting Camp Chowenwaw Park.
Most of the pack stayed in the cabins at Ahwenassa, which worked out really well since the crazy Florida weather kicked in and temps were in the low 30s Friday night. Braden really loves sleeping in a tent though, so he and Adam camped at Talahi (Hickory Flats) with two other pack families. It was a short walk over to where the pack was staying.
Thankfully the pack had an extra cabin Friday night so the boys didn’t have to sleep in the tent in the freezing cold. Braden kept insisting that he was sleeping in the tent, but after he walked outside Friday morning he agreed that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.
he’s wearing thermals, a sweatshirt, and two jackets!
The pack spent Friday night setting up the camp site, eating dinner, playing flashlight tag, running around like maniacs, and having s’mores & hot chocolate around the camp fire. They finally crashed a little after 9PM and tried to stay warm.
The next morning they were up bright and early for breakfast courtesy of Mr. Macky. We hit the jackpot with this pack, since one of the boys parents owns a restaurant. No yucky camp food for us!
Mackenzie has suddenly shown an interest in camping. I figured we’d have a fun girls weekend at home, but she kept asking to go camping with the boys. After our race Saturday morning, we met the pack to go on a nature hike with the Park Rangers, followed by some time on the playground. The boys were hungry and went back for lunch so I took Kenz home for lunch and a nap.
While Mackenzie ate, napped, and ate again the pack stayed busy. They learned to play volleyball and went on a few more hikes. Braden is a BIG fan of hiking. The trails are pretty clear and marked really well. I kind of think it would be fun to go running back there. With a friend. A very big friend. One that will scare off the critters!! We didn’t see any, but you know they’re there..
After Mackenzie woke up from her nap, she immediately insisted that we go camping with the boys again. I’m not quite sure that she understood that camping meant sleeping there too. She’s three though so we’ll let it slide. We ate dinner and drove back over to Camp Chowenwaw to spend some more time with the boys. Braden was excited to show us the trail they found earlier in the day, so we went on another hike.
Then the pack ate dinner – home made (camp made?) chili courtesy of Mr. Mackey. Since Kenz and I weren’t officially camping, we didn’t eat with the pack. I have to tell you though that it smelled amazing!
We brought glow in the dark bracelets for the kids, so we passed those out and they ran around for a while playing while the adults sat around the camp fire and talked. Kenz started getting tired, so she and I headed back home for the night.
I’m not a super prissy girl and I don’t mind being outdoors, but ticks scare me so the first thing we did when we got home was check for ticks and take a bath. We were both worn out from being on the go all day (no kidding, I took almost 18K steps on Saturday according to my vivosmart!) so we were out as soon as our heads hit the pillows.
The boys.. not so much. It was way past bed time when they finally crashed, but Braden made up for it the next morning. Poor kiddo slept until almost 9AM, which is unheard of for him!
Kenz woke up begging to go camping again so we ate breakfast, got dressed, and drove back over. Everyone was surprised when they saw us walking up and told me next time I just need to bring her with us.. us, as in, I should camp too. How did I get myself into that one??
I tried to show her that it’s not all fun and games while we helped the boys clean out their tent, pack everything up, and haul it back to the car. She wasn’t hearing it though and is adamant that she is going next time. She even told Adam he needs to buy the girls a pink tent and purple sleeping bags.
The next pack camp out is at Fort Clinch State Park in a few weeks and it seems that Kenz and I will be camping too. This should be interesting!! It’s not too far from the Ritz-Carlton where ZOOMA is held, so maybe I should book us a room there for the night.. just in case??
This picture has nothing to do with camping, but I haven’t shared it before and it’s a cute picture of Braden and some of his den mates from their Blue and Gold party earlier this month.
And in the spirit of randomness, here’s a picture from our very first visit to Camp Chowenwaw..
Gosh we look like babies!! I can’t believe that was seven years ago! I’m still waiting on pictures from the race Saturday, hopefully I’ll have those soon and can share the recap!