As it is summer camp season, I thought it might be helpful to share my own method for unpacking my children’s gear after they come home.
1. Set bags in the yard. It might annoy the neighbors for a bit, but remember lots of creepy crawlies could have come home from camp, too.
2. Open every compartment and look for precious keepsakes that the children have made at camp. Poking things with sticks to make sure nothing moves is a great method at this step.
3. Leave everything that is wet, sandy, mossy, wiggly, or generally putrid in or near the bag.
4. Once everything that is salvageable and/or a precious keepsake has been rescued from bags, remove children from area.
5. Generously apply lighter fluid to anything left, including bags. You won’t need as much if your child goes to horse camp. Manure burns very well.
6. Put a match to remains of camp. You might even take the extra step of creating your own camp memories with your children by roasting marshmallows over the fire. To roast hot dogs, you might need to add additional fuel to the fire, like that box of ‘artwork’ from the previous school year or all of Mommie’s rejected rough drafts (if you do the latter, I suggest having a bottle of wine handy).
7. Once the fire burns down, soak the entire area with garden hose for fire safety. This is also a good time to check if those bedding plants you set out and forgot are still alive. If so, BONUS! Water those, too!
Just in case the blaze gets ‘out of hand’ according to your neighbors and they call the fire department, you might want to have snacks on hand for the fire fighters. I have found a platter of homemade cookies for the firemen who file the report to be helpful when keeping your insurance rates down.
Well, there you go! Have a fun and safe camp season. (If you burn too much of your yard, let me know. I have the name of a great sod farm.)