Camping out for the Perseids
When it comes to the night sky, there are some events around which you build your calendar. The Perseids are one of those events. They are notoriously predictable, and abundant in both the quantity and number of stars. If you’ve ever been out in August and seen a meteor, it was probably the Perseid Meteor Show.
Two years ago, a small group of youth from Cambridge Community Center came for a camp out during the week of the Perseids. It was a magical experience, and the group sat out under the stars, perhaps a bit past their normal bed time, to watch for the next shooting star. When we planned this summer’s family events, we knew we wanted to open up this experience to more of our families, and luckily for us, the timing also coincided with the very end of the Cambridge Adventure Day Camp’s Nature Camp week with us. As the bus pulled away from their week on the property, several youth, it wouldn’t be very long before we saw them again.
That evening, 40 people came out for a potluck, night hike, campfire and stargazing, including one of our summer staff’s family! We ate vegetables from the garden and lots of delicious food from everyone present. As we gathered for the evening walk, the night descended on us quicker than anticipated. Mid-hike, Brianne passed out headlamps to anyone who wanted them. Looking back into the woods, she noted that the headlamps in the dark looked an awful lot like constellations themselves. As we pulled out of the woods and the sky showed its final bits of light, bats flew overhead, off to do their night work.
We finished up the formal part of the evening with delicious s’mores around the campfire. Some people brought out smart phones to look at night sky apps and learn about the stars above them. Others waited patiently, watching until flashes of light passed by. A late summer chill encroached, and the ground got colder as the evening progressed. Some went home to sleep the night away on comfortable beds, but 25 people stayed overnight, camping up in the volleyball field. One camper even commented that they could see the stars through their tent!
The next morning, families got a chance to feed the goats, chickens and rabbits while we made blueberry pancakes (with eggs from the chickens) and freshly made whipped cream. Then, sleeping bags were rolled up, clothes put away, teeth brushed, tents packed up, and everyone was on their way. It was a magical way to begin a weekend!
Looking for information on taking your family camping? Check out our list of family camping links HERE!
And check out our Pinterest Camping with Kids board.