Backyard Campout: The (mis)adventures of one mom, her kids, and a trampoline


Suzanne Delzio has written nine books and many magazine articles. Her current mission is to promote the No Child Left Inside Act, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, and blog about easy ways for families of middle schoolers to unplug and reconnect to nature. You can read about misadventures with her two children, coming soon at

We had a wonderful time at our Great American Backyard Campout—five families split between two yards. In my yard, the boys were in the tent; the girls stayed with me on the trampoline.

Disasters? I accidentally left my homemade spaghetti sauce out overnight and as a result, I had to get a giant sandwich to feed my faction. Turns out: kids are fine with any food in their bellies, so long as they are with pals outside.

Neighbor Laura, who cooked for both kids and adults, made killer veggie sausage sandwiches and even breakfast the next day. Thanks to Laura, I got a lot of time in talking with adults rather than barking at kids.

Bedtime? 1 a.m., although I was lying on the trampoline with my book and book light at 10 p.m. I listened to the conversation around the adults table and dozed in and out. The next day, the little ones were so thrilled they got to stay up so late. Everyone hoped that naps would be a sure thing that afternoon :)

– Suzanne Delzio

Want to read more of camper-mom Suzanne’s writing? Check out the My View article she wrote for NWF.