A Trip To The Ocean

This week we’re heading out on a family camping trip to the Pacific Ocean. We’ve been doing all sorts of things to get ready. We’ve mapped out a plan of our trip and where we want to go, made lists of fun things to do, and learned about the area’s geography, wildlife, weather, and even a little history. We’ve also planned games, menus, and gathered our equipment.

It would be a whole lot easier for Mom and Dad to just do the planning and bring the kiddos along, but then no real learning would happen. Instead, we’ve let our kids really take ownership of our trip. They each get to choose some of our excursions and be “the leader” those days. They are each in charge of planning out the food and cooking on certain days. They have also each made a list of goals for the trip. My son, who is just starting Cub Scouts, has decided that on this trip he wants to start a seashell collection to help him earn a badge. He is also really excited about learning photography and will be bringing his new camera to document our trip. My daughter wants to find a starfish in the tide pools. She also wants to try to find some of the places that she’s seen in pictures in our family scrapbook. We traveled to this area before she was born, but she has only seen pictures of the space needle, ferry boats, and the Pacific Ocean. They both want to learn to cook in the dutch oven and over the campfire.

Here I am in front of the Space Needle.

The last time we traveled here none of our kids were born yet!

Because we are taking the time not only to learn about things we will see ahead of time, but also to let them take some ownership in our trip, they are bundles of enthusiasm. Studying the ocean, tide pools, sea life, Seattle and the Puget Sound, transportation, volcanoes, explorers, and rain forests has all been 100% joy because it feels so real to them. School feels like play when it’s part of their own adventures.

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