Camping, Special Needs Style {The Good, The Bad, & The Exhausting }

When I was a kid I was a Boy Scout. In fact, though I hate the politics & intolerance they show today, I'm very proud to say that I'm an Eagle Scout! Nothing would have made me happier than to load the kids up & head out into the back country for a week long backpacking trip but for two major reasons that just not going to happen. 1.) I've got 2 kids with special needs. 2.) I'm 31 & Fat!

Zion reeled this monster in all alone!
He was so proud of himself but stood
over me to ensure I didn't hurt the fish
while I was getting the hook
 out to set it free!
Jayden is not into it & while we will with out a doubt be doing some fall day trips, camping is just not his thing! So he used the time to go on a date with Samantha to a nice restaurant. Our NT son Dean is ALL ABOUT IT! He wants to camp, shoot, hunt, fish, catch bugs, & is convinced that a spear I made him is all he needs to take on a bear of any size! Zion, our 7 year old middle son, is an enigma though. Zion was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder & Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder but now that he is older we are just not sure. Isn't that the way it goes! When we had him evaluated he only talked to my wife & I. Teachers, family, & others only got a bit of chatter but not much. Now that he is more open to talk & really be observed its getting more obvious that somethings going on. Meltdowns, hand ticks, counting, repetitive tasks, & some of the most irrational fears & neuroses I've ever seen. It all adds up having indigestion a need for Tylenol! 

All that being said he REALLY wanted to go camping! Really? Camping? A kid who changes cloths 4 times a day because he got a drop of water on his shirt. Really? Camping? The kid who refuses to eat food after a fly lands on it because he learned about flies & how they throw up to eat so there is no way he is eating microscopic fly puke! Really? Camping? The kid....wait...(my wife just went in the restroom to throw up! I know she is about the hurl because she turned on the sink because, even after 5 years of being married to me, she still insists that there are things we don't share. Oddly enough, all of the things we don't share happen in the bathroom & vomiting is one of them! That includes kid vomit...we don't share...apparently it's all mine!) Okay where was I....oh yeah. So I'm shocked Zion wants to go camping but what the heck, lets go I said. 

It was almost 100 degrees at around 5:30 when we got there but we tuffed it out. We fished, explored, ate hot dogs cooked on the fire, & even shot their first Red Ryder BB Gun. (and no one shot their eye out!) At about 8:30 I realized we were all running thin. You could ring us all three out like a wet rag & I'm sure the smell was awesome! At 9:30pm after an hour of my best negotiating they loaded up in the car, in their under-roo's, in pitch black, & I used a small flashlight to breakdown the campsite so we could go. I had to stop 3 times during the breakdown to get 2 grasshoppers & 1 moth out of the car after hearing Zion meltdown. With everything loaded we got about half a mile down the road & had to stop one more time because of a killer mosquito flying around that Zion freaked about. Then it was finally on to sonic drive in for a bottles of water & then home to let mom take care of us!! It was so much fun even with the last hour. I hope you enjoy the photos I've included to document our adventure.

P.S. Don't worry about Samantha, though she's not feeling well she will be okay! I, on the other hand, will probably be in some form of trouble after she reads this post only to realize I've documented her porcelain prayers :) I'm in so much trouble! ;)

Be Very Very Quiet...

How about I shoot YOUR eye out!
Fishing our hearts out!

I roast children!! 

Probably in the top 10 all time dad moments! Epic Fatherhood Win!

They were super impressed how fast I started the fire! I was super impressed how well I
was able to hide the fire starter log under the sticks!

Exploring 12 acres of awesomeness. Lots of screaming because of bugs but awesome! 

He hit the target dead on first time! Thats how I'm telling the story...I wont mention that after he did he threw the gun & ran to the target to see. We are still working on safety but thats why dad loaded 1 BB at a time!

Did it rain? Did we go swimming? NOPE! Thats all sweat! Time to go home!
The nasty aftermath of Oklahoma Heat & being up at 10PM

I didn't want to do that thing where you forget how much something sucked because you only
remember the good parts so I snapped a pick of me so I would think carefully about it before
another last minute camping trip in freakin' August!


  1. My husband keeps thinking he'd like to take our 6 year old (Autism Spectrum) daughter on a camping trip and I just think...have fun. I'll have to point out the look on your face to him. It speaks volumes. Glad you had some fatherhood wins on your trip.

  2. whatever it was that made you do it....I hope it makes you do it again!!. the only adventures my kids know are the ones where we sleep in towers ( ie highrise apart buildings - 5 star!)...and im keeping it that way...a girl guide I aint!

  3. I love it!!! I absolutely love how you are willing to brave the melt downs, tantrums, and heat to give your boys a great experience. You are my hero! :) My son sounds very similar to yours. He has PDD-NOS, ADD, and OCD tendencies. He also has irrational fears so I know exactly where you are coming from. Thank you for sharing this story. You Rock! I am also sure that your wife is so proud of you that she won't even mind this blog!

  4. That is awesome! I say keep doing it. Yeah, it's tough, but it goes by so fast, and even with all the meltdowns and freakouts, they're making memories that they will remember much better than those little issues. My 6 yo ASD son is so cute when he freaks out over bugs, then tells his sister SHE's the coward! It's those moments that we love to think about. <3

  5. These are some tips on social anxiety that might be able to apply to general anxiety. Definitely worth checking out. Hope it helps!


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