Family Tent Camping: Having Fun

It was my intent to go camping near the beach so we could just hang out and not rush home.  I have yet to take my kids to the beach or pool this year and have one of them say they’ve had enough before I say it’s time to go.

Unfortunately, three things conspired against this plan.

One, we didn’t get out the door very quickly.  We’re working on organization.  It takes practice.

Two, we brought the dog.  Our dog has had heat stroke more than once, so we have to be very careful with her.  Our tent spot was more sunny than shaded, so she was already getting hot while we pitched the tents and ate lunch.  Then we had to walk a sandy path to get to the water.  Loose sand is extremely hot, and the poor pup’s paws were on fire.  Then we got to the cool water, which was great, except that the waves freaked her out.  She tried to attack them.  We tried taking her a bit deeper and past the breaking waves, but she seemed to be gagging.  I took her up on the beach, but it was too hot.  I took her back to the water, and she attacked the waves. 

Finally, we went for a walk.  She really calmed down then, but I soon realized it was because she had swallowed so much salt water that she felt ill.  She threw up twice on the beach (and once in the van on the way back to camp), and also had some diarrhea.  Back at camp, she drank a gallon of fresh water, but refused food until we returned home.  She burrowed her wet body into the sandy soil that made our campsite, and was absolutely miserable the whole night. 

Dog attacking waves.

Calm dog walking on beach, pre-vomit.

The camera scares her, too, so she really wasn’t liking me at all at this point.
So happy to go home, that she doesn’t mind discarded crocs on top of her.

Next time, I think we’ll kennel her.

It was nice, though, to have her around at whatever time of the night when I awoke suddenly thinking there was some person or creature scratching at the side of the tent.  I scared Bill half to death when I shook him as I called out, “Who’s there?”  It was just Peter rolling around and kicking the wall of the tent making it move.  Immediately after waking Bill, I had a moment of clarity and said, “It can’t be anything or the dog would bark.”  Both she and Bill wished I would have thought of that before waking them up.

The final thing that prevented a fully enjoyable time at the beach was the thunderstorm that rolled in.  We had left our tents open to prevent heat build-up, but that meant rain would get in.  I’d rather have a hot tent than a wet tent, so we had to get back before it poured.

Peter, balancing

Peter, deciding that balancing was too dangerous

Dead wood + water = lots of fun for kids

When I was down beside the sea…a plastic spade they gave to me…

This is Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island.  It’s cool.
Shrimp boat heading out to sea.  St. Simons Island in the background.

Shrimp boat in the sound with mainland Georgia and a thunderstorm behind it.

Almost a nice picture.  Wish I had snapped a few more.

In her own world.

These little white pebbles all up and down the shore are baby clams.

Cruise ship, driftwood, thunderstorm.

Extreme fishing.  Lightening, what lightening?

Brief respite before it started to rain.

What they were doing when I said, “It’s raining!  We have to GO!”

We’ll try this again, soon.  Maybe we’ll go down on a Friday afternoon and set up camp and Bill can meet us after work.  We’ll leave the dog, so we won’t have to worry about her getting hot, sick or scared.  And we’ll leave the tents closed up so that we don’t have to hurry back when it starts to rain.  There’s nothing we can do about the weather, though.  This time of year, there’s almost always a chance of thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon.

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5 thoughts on “Family Tent Camping: Having Fun

  1. We loved Jekyll Island. That's where we always went on our beach days. 🙂

  2. I like it because it isn't crowded at all. Even in July. For the amenities (showers, decent bathrooms, changing area), I like the beach at Coligny Park in Hilton Head. We enjoyed tons of water creature spottings when we went to St Simons. Tybee is OK, and close. Whenever I think about going to the beach, I have a tough time deciding where to go. There is another campground at Tybee, just off the beach. I thought about going there, but it's about twice as expensive as the one at Jekyll Island, so I think we'll go back to Jekyll.

  3. Glad to hear the comments on the Jekyll campground. We usually go to the north GA mountains, but often talk about heading down to the beach. It's not a ton longer for us to drive, and might be nice in the fall. I hate being too hot when camping though!! How far is it from the beach?

  4. Kris, the campground is on the north end of the island and has water about a half mile away on three sides. Except for when we first got to camp, after lunchtime, with the sun shining brightly on our site, I never felt overly hot. When we went camping in Missouri in July 2007, it was oppressively hot. Did you know that the crickets chirp at a speed dependent upon the temperature? They were noticeably slower on the island than in my own backyard.

  5. BTW, Kris,there is not much by way of entertainment at this campground, not even a playground (there WAS a “bird sanctuary”, but that was it). Jekyll Island itself has plenty to do – a water park, historical buildings, the beach and fishing, but the campground, nothing. The campground at Tybee which costs a lot more has a pool and movies on the weekends and other forms of amusements.

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