Camping with Kids: Keeping Clean at Camp

It’s tough camping with four independent young ladies.  No, they help out at camp, as much as they can.  No, they don’t complain on the trail…much.  It’s the showering.  Just as I’d wait as long as possible with the laundry, when the children were little, I’d wait until we could barely sleep in one tiny pop-up trailer before taking my flock to the showers.

Look, Mom, 4 states at once!
            Why?  Many reasons.  It’s our vacation.  We’re tired from hiking.  There’s a line at the ladies’ showers.  We can rinse off in the pool.  Okay, that last one is the children’s excuse—not mine!  
My husband had it easy.  He had one charge to look after—and his had short hair!  The ladies all had long hair. 
I’ve notice, camping with the children all these years, that even when camping, most women shower all the time.  Hence, there is always a line at the ladies’ showers.
But I had a system.  It only backfired once that I can recall.
It was the second night of trying to shower while we were visiting a popular desert section of Colorado, and I gathered all the toiletries and towels and marched my girls to the line forming at the ladies’ showers.  It was already 15 women long.  Nothing to do but wait this time.  I would always shower last, in case the girls needed something.
By the time the twins were ready for showers, I had figured out how to adjust the temperature settings by helping my older girls.  But the twins didn’t want help.  They both went into separate stalls and locked the doors behind them.
“Are you sure you can turn it on?”  I walked back and forth, questioning the closed doors.
Then one twin opened the door.  She poked her head out.  “It doesn’t work.”
I hurriedly turned the shower on and adjusted the temperature for her.  Then waited by the other door. 
Nothing.  No water sounds.  No words.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Yea,” she chirped.
Suddenly, a lady came out of the adjoining shower.  I jumped in so as not to lose it and tapped on the changing room wall.  “I’m next door to you, honey.”
Still no sound from her stall.  Sometimes the twins can be stubborn.  I hung up my towel, placed the toiletry bag on the damp bench, and frowned.  The shower curtain was four inches short of the bottom of the shower and puddles formed in the changing area.  I sighed and took off my clothes. 
Then I noticed the toes come under the half wall between shower changing rooms.  I recognized those educated toes fluttering to get my attention and realized that my little girl hadn’t turned on the shower yet.
I tried to explain how to turn on the shower through the wall.  It didn’t work.  I wrapped myself in the towel and went to her door.
“Open up,” I shouted.
Once inside, I could see the tears of frustration in her eyes and I softened.  I showed her how to work the mechanism and checked the temperature. 
“These are tough,” I assured her.
When I returned to my shower stall, I found the door locked and legs under the half wall.
“That’s my shower!”  I pounded on the door.  She had to see my stuff in there.
I heard what sounded like French coming from the other side of the door.
“You still know that someone is using this shower,” I said, language barrier or no language barrier. 
She finally came out.  Yes, I did glare at her.
After my shower, I felt refreshed and pleased, realizing that I wouldn’t need to go through this again for at least a few days.  I attempted to dress in the now flooded changing room and dropped my last pair of clean underpants into the cruddy water.  I sighed.  Dried them with my towel and finished getting dressed.
            Such is the life of keeping clean at camp.  How about you?  Did you ever have troubles showering at camp?

6 thoughts on “Camping with Kids: Keeping Clean at Camp”

  1. Yes, Nas, I would say that the changing rooms at ocean beaches rate right up there with our experience at this particular campground. Of course, it's always harder when you're responsible for other besides yourself. Thank you so much for visiting my Camping with Kids blog.

  2. Thank you, Michelle, for stopping by my Camping with Kids blog to read those stories. Sometimes, the only way to survive or look back on some of our experiences camping with the family is to laugh. As for the changing rooms at the beach? See my comment above to Nas. We three ladies all seem to agree.

  3. Now there's a good idea, Marie. But can you imagine the expense for a family of 7 to stay at the Four Season's? Thanks so much for stopping by my Camping with Kids blog to read my post. It's always appreciated.


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