If you had conjured up images of Dads creating a mess in the kitchen or your dull boring walls turning into Picasso master pieces while dearest daddy slept on the couch, then am afraid you would be totally wrong in your imagination.
Some Dads are different and they call themselves Cool Dads. These are the Dads who take the lead, venture out with their kids and take charge of the day.
Goes with out saying that the wife is always keeping an eye out, so that he does not drop the oars. Otherwise, we all know who has to swim back to the shore..!
Last weekend, the Cool Dads of Bombay (Mumbai) had organized an overnight trip by a Lakeside Camping site on the outskirts of the city. The whole deal being that Dads will take the lead with their kids. And so they did.
Sure they did get a little bit of help from their wives. After all behind every “upgraded bug free version” of the Dad there is a solid Operating System — The Wife
The start of the camping trip itself was adventurous. Once you park your car at the parking lot, you gotta walk on the edge of a lake, hop onto a man-made raft and take a short ride to reach the camp site. It sure gets you started the minute you get onto that raft.
The fever of the camping trip was already so high, that some Dads even got their Moms along. Now that was really cool — Dads not only ensuring that they take charge of their kids for the day, but also ensure that their own Moms have a great time too.
We reached by around 12.30 PM at the camp site and were already feeling the hunger pangs and with the heat building up we really wanted to settle in, have a nice lunch and maybe hit the tents for an afternoon siesta.
All that was about to change.
While the lunch was being served, we could feel fine water droplets falling around us. Our first reaction — that’s Weird. As we looked up, the camp personnel had switched on the water sprinklers at the reception area, where the lunch was served.
Now on any given day, you would get totally offended and even yell if someone turned on the water sprinklers, while you were eating your meal. But here, we were thrilled. It felt different. I guess being at the camp site, it changes your mindset (yeah, the heat also gets to your head). You adapt. You soak it in. You become a camper.
The sprinklers were started so as to beat the heat. Well thought through by the camp personnel. It was a crazy and a wonderful first-time experience, having your lunch with sprinklers going on & off every 15 mins to cool off the place & also us. Loved it.
And our afternoon kick-started in a high gear after that. We felt all so refreshed and high (not sure if they had mixed anything in the water sprinklers..! Wish they had.) after that, that no one went back to the tents.
We just hung around for the other Dads to arrive with their families. And waited to see their astonishment when the sprinklers came back on when they arrived. The kids totally went nuts.
So here are the 18 Most Awesome things that the Dads indulged in with their kids at the camp site —
- As most of the Indians love whenever they meet outdoors — we started off with a game of cricket. Everyone joined in, including Grand Parents. Grandparents running across the wickets was sheer brilliance..!
- Unlimited Foosball. Some real talent there by some Dads & Kids. They formed some great teams.
- Organic Farming experience. Great experience for the kids to see how the stuff that they usually don’t like to eat & make a fuss, actually grows. And maybe, someday we can try reminding them this story in the hope that they make friends with the greens.
4. Kayaking with Kids. You could kayak for as long as you want. Now, how cool is that..!
5. Skinny Dipping in the Lake. Even the kids jumped into the lake with life jackets. What an experience that was everyone, including myself. Fear of the Lake has been banished now.
And am super glad that my kids will not grow up with that fear anymore. They didn’t want to come out at all. Younger one was the most upset when we pulled him out.
6. Live Music Performance by singers from Bombay. Even the campers gave it their best. Towards the end, no one really bothered who was singing. Everyone was just dancing.
7. Huge Bonfire & Marshmallows for kids. It was a nice gesture by the Campsite personnel to distribute it all the kids. They even helped them light it up.
8. Night Trek under the Stars. One Dad woke up his teenage daughter and her friend from their sleep to go for the trek. Now, that is true enthusiasm.
9. Early Morning Trek. One Dad lost his way. A 30 mins trek turned out to a be 2 hour adventure. Yes, he made it back with Guts & Glory. Take a Bow.
10. Night Cricket. We Indians never get enough of cricket. Yeah, everyone still had tons of energy left. Don’t ask me how..!
11. Foot Massages during the night and morning hours. The masseur must’ve made a killing.
12. Zip Lining. Huge hit with the adults. Kids had to wait for their turn.
13. Dancing under the Stars on some great music, from classics to new age. After a while, it didn’t really matter what kind of music was playing.
14. Mid-night Movie Screening. After a hard days work, it was time to remove your slippers and relax. Not surprising, some kids were still awake. Later in the morning, we heard the movie went on until 3 AM.
15. Open Showers to beat the heat. This was an experience that no one wanted to miss. Even the lazy folks who would traditionally avoid a shower on a Sunday morning, took a shower on a Sunday morning just to experience the openness (no pun intended).
16. Sleeping (or not) in the Tents. This was simple. Kids love tents. No cajoling required for them to hit the bed.
17. Drinks & tons of real conversations. One dad got along a splendid bottle of South African wine, and the conversations began from there.
18. Petting Zoo. Even the Adults loved it. Sometimes the kids ran behind the animals and sometimes the animals ran behind the kids. I can assure you, it was more funny to watch our kids scattering in all directions with the ducks chasing them down.
How Did It All End?
Overall, it was wonderful to see everyone having an amazing time spending time outdoors away from TVs, devices, gadgets and most importantly beating the hustle bustle of the city.
The camping trip not only provided an opportunity for everyone to get close to the nature, it also set the stage for Dads to get into “Action Mode” with their kids.
We made some new friends, had some refreshing conversations, laughed and joked at each other (even though some of us were meeting each other for the first time) and got to know each other’s kids & families
Importantly, Dads created some amazing memories for their kids, spouses & their parents..! It really can’t get better than that.
Cool Dads totally Rocked the camping trip..!
What Was My Payback?
As for me, at the end of the camping trip when we came back home, after dinner time when my 4 year old son and myself were silently watching the camping pictures, after a while — he leaned back, turned my face towards him and gave me an unexpected kiss
As an ever Greedy Dad that I am, the next thing that hit my head was- Is there a Bonus in store for me?
Absolutely. He gave another one on the other cheek as well.