Community Herald: Glamping Part 5: Lessons in nature and connecting with your inner-crafter

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a six-part series about camping in style.

*Disclosure: no hermit crabs or jelly fish were harmed in the making of this blog.

Camping with kids creates lifelong memories for a family. Some recollections are not always glampy for the adults (packing, unpacking, hauling, pitching), but we’ll bet they’re always amazing for the children.

Hopefully our glamping tips inspire a happy adventure for all (even if ‘happy camper’ isn’t in your vocabulary).

From buntings to table linens here’s a few crafting ideas to glamp your camp. And don’t forget the mini-glampers in your family. We love nature-inspired ideas to keep them busy and connecting children with nature is probably the most gratifying and important aspect of camping. Putting away tech and teaching simple earth lessons will last a lifetime, when the lessons are married with a family holiday experience.

IMG_1876Bring binoculars and pack a local bird book and give your children a great opportunity to identify who’s habitat they’re sharing (and what creature is crooning that 5 a.m. wake-up chirp). On a recent trip to South Mountain Campground in Annapolis Valley we were sharing a site with (what I believe to be) a yellow-bellied sapsucker. If I’m wrong, send me a note to info@eastcoastglampers.com. A helpful online resource is www.whatbird.com.

A simple shell windchime
A simple shell windchime

Make a woodsy or sea-themed wind chime with treasures you find on hike or beach stroll. Bringing along some string or twine and scissors. Our girls have never forgotten an enchanting sand mermaid they discovered on Mount Desert Island while glamping in Maine. Her sign offered sand dollars in exchange for sea glass. A local university professor collected the sand dollars for swapping and his wife was the sand sculptress.

Share a local author in your glamping experience, like making a dream catcher and reading local folklore like, “The Sharing Circle” by Theresa Meuse-Dallien. We read the girls one of our favorites, East To The Sea, by New Brunswick born author Heidi Jardine Stoddart, before camping at Ovens Natural Park on the South shore. They especially loved hearing the tale of sea monsters living in caves called The Ovens.

Rock-pooling and nature walks make for great discovery and campfire conversation.

Stargazing and searching for mythical heroes. At Kejimkujik we picked up a great sky chart to search constellations. If you have wifi and don’t mind putting technology towards some starry education, there’s ‘plenty an app for that’! Star Chart is free and well rated. The Night Sky is 0.99c but has a free Lite version.

Lessons in reducing our environmental footprint.
Lessons in reducing our environmental footprint.

Environmental care: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and practise the campers motto ‘leave no trace’. Parks Nova Scotia practices waste sorting and recycling, so bring along a blue bag for recyclables, a clear bag for rubbish and an organics waste pail and get the children involved. Check ahead for the garbage guidelines at your campground.

Crafting to glamp the camp:

craft
Glamping Lap Mat tutorial on Halifax Bloggers

East Coast Glampers teamed with local bloggers DIYPassion recently to share an easy sewing project to add a little luxe to camping.

Our Glamping Lap Mats were quick and simple, especially for an amateur like myself, who had not sewn since high school, aside from Operation Tilly Overhaul, where we recovered our pop-up trailer’s cushions and curtains.

A homemade bunting or banner. Ours was made by local event designer Melissa Fendley of Paige and Peacock Event Design(disclosure: she’s also my sister), using burlap, leftover fabric, a glue gun, and tempera paints. Ribbon works fine in place of fabric. She’ll custom make to order. (Cyndi Sweeney)
A homemade bunting or banner. Ours was made by local event designer Melissa Fendley of Paige and Peacock Event Design(disclosure: she’s also my sister), using burlap, leftover fabric, a glue gun, and tempera paints. Ribbon works fine in place of fabric. She’ll custom make to order. (Cyndi Sweeney)

1. Make a burlap bunting with a campy insignia.

2. Table linens: Four simple, straight sides to stitch and you’ve sewn your own tablecloth. Matching napkins can be made with any leftover material. Don’t have a machine? Visit a local sewing room, like Patch Halifax on Robie street where machines can be rented hourly and inspiration is shared with other crafters.

3. Potholders: Don’t damage a linen or oil-back tablecloth with a hot-off-the-fire pot. Potholders are a small easy projects (google online). Try a campy VW fabric like the one we found on Fabric.com.

Happy Glamping!