I didn’t know how Leo was going to feel about his first camping trip last weekend. He’s not yet two years old and being taken away from his home and routine to spend a long weekend camped in a field at night and bouldering in the day might have been a bit too much for him. My main concern was that he would be nervous of the tent. I wondered how Valerie and I could coax Leo into what might seem to him to be a giant orange monster. In the end Leo had a wonderful time camping. He enjoyed banging the tent pegs in, exploring the campsite and playing with one of the campsite owners’ children. Thanks to Valerie’s amazing packing, he had to keep him happy a selection of his favourite toys and books as well as the clothes he needed to keep him comfortable on what quite cold nights. He was initially reluctant to stand on our inflatable camping mats, but he bravely overcame it.
What also made our trip a success was that we had chosen to boulder at the family-friendly Cratcliffe and Robin Hood’s Stride. Leo liked clambering about the rocks and running around. He also loved scrambling on, bouncing on, jumping off and lying on the bouldering mat (which we had to encourage him off before we could climb). Some curious young cows at Robin Hood’s Stride freaked him out when they got too close and took a slobbering interest in our bouldering mat, but we hugged and reassured him. Leo being ok with the camping and where we were bouldering helped Valerie and I too as it gave us a chance to relax and enjoy the climbing.
It was really good to see Leo enjoy the trip and to know that this can be the first of many more camping trips to come.