Twice a year, Tryon Palace opens its lawn and gardens to patrons for camping. Tryon Palace was the first Royal Government seat in the thirteen colonies under King George III and built in the late 1760s. The event was amazing! I was so impressed by every single thing that the organization did. When we arrived I was questioning my ability to “camp” with my mother (visiting from Missouri) and my three small children, one who is awake nursing most of the night and teething miserably. Within minutes of our arrival a volunteer came over with a garden cart and begins loading our things and hauling it to the lawn! I was pleasantly surprised. I tried to sit Atlas (the baby) down and he of course started screaming so this volunteer and my mother pitched the tent. They both deserve a cookie. Speaking of sweets, I purchased our camp site (it’s a fundraiser for the palace) for $60 and with that money I received loads of help from volunteers for set up, shoving air mattresses into small tents and break down. It included our dinner, which was really good, Smores, Bounce houses, Colonial era games, a magician, Storytellers, Sing a longs, plant identification glow stick walk, a mini militia, a wonderful drum circle, breakfast AND PEACE AND QUIET.
At 10 pm they announced lights out and for about twenty minutes I sat in silence staring up at the stars, my children slept, the children and families around us respected the rule and were quiet. . .The only movement was the airplane I mistook for a star. The blazing September sun gave way to a cool Trent River breeze and suddenly we were successfully camping.
Being out with children is hard. It just is. I do not believe that it comes easily for anyone, definitely not me. The most difficult part about camping with these boys was that 9 month old, crawling Atlas puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. He ate leaves, rocks, paper, bugs, you name it.
I do it anyway because when a man in colonial garb hands your weapon obsessed military child a mock musket and bayonet he comes to life. His language is spoken and he is plugging his ears for a pretend cannon fire against the British. Learning is taking place and History is coming alive for my child. My husband and I have a pretty extensive love for history, if you ever want to hear the whole story pitch your tent next to ours at the next Lanterns on the Lawn https://www.tryonpalace.org/ and say yes to adventure.