Saturday, July 7, 2012

Camping at Lake Ray Roberts

June 2 and 3, the first weekend after last school year, we had a great camping trip to Lake Ray Robert.

Six families, with 9 kids, 4 girls and 5 boys, ages from kindergarten to 10th grade, participated. .

Due to kids' activities, all families left home in the afternoon, and arrived at the park between 4pm and 6pm. After setting up tents, it was time for BBQ, and Lily suggested to go to lake beach so that there were more space for the six families.

BBQ by the Lake at Dusk

The beach is very close to the campsite. Lily, Justin, Caroline, Nicholas went to the beach by bikes. The rest of us drove there to bring food, charcoal etc. We setup at an open shelter near the beach. 

Quickly the fire in grill started. Before long the delicious smell of grilled marinated beef permeated air ...and the children came back from their excursions, time to eat.

So much meat and food were brought by the families, before the grill of ribs, chickens, sausage, hot dog, patties ... were completed, the kids finished eating already and ran away. The adults stayed around, chatting on various topics, and enjoying the meat, salad, grapes, apples, watermelon, company of one another and a steady light breeze from the lake. A full moon climbed over the trees and it turned dark before we knew it.

We enjoyed one more summer indulgence, ice cold watermelon brought by Michele's family, before heading back to our campsite.

Camp fire at Night

Time for camp fire! Ben and Caroline's family brought firewood and marshmallow just for this time. Justin started the fire after a few tries with help from his mom's cooking oil.

Justin, Caroline, Ben and Nicholas along with two other youngsters sat around the fire, roasting marshmallows and playing fires. The camp fire apparently has an enigmatic appeal. The kids could not have enough of it.

I was attracted to the camp fire as well - staring at it for a minute or two without doing anything or thinking anything, I was occupied by the flame.

A bright white Moon over the silhouette of tall trees, flaming fires by the tents and the background sound from nocturnal insects - what a beautiful North Texas outdoor.

Putting out the campfire, we went to sleep in a cool night of a hot summer day.

Biking and Jogging in the Morning

I woke up early next morning (~ 4am) by a persistent loud bird calling, and did not fell back to deep sleep afterwards. So I got up early at 6:30am or so. Observing a bright red cardinal on top of a tree by our tent and listening to its chirping, then I went biking toward lake shore - saw a big deer crossing a side road. This was the first time I saw big animals at lake Ray Roberts.

After a hearty shared breakfast among the families, the six older kids - Ben, Caroline, Emily, Justin, Michele and Nicholas went to biking along the main trail. Parents and younger kids went hiking along the same trail.

When the bikers caught up with hikers after one lap on the trail, they stopped for water - they were loud with wide smiles on their faces. Biking in group was really exciting and fun for these children.

The hikers were, of course, much slower, but we did enjoy the blooming the wet spring brought us. I must say the park was much more beautiful this time than what I have ever saw before.

Water fight 

Taking down tents, cleaning up the campsite, we went to the lake beach again - it was near 11am already.

I was tired due to early wake up and activities. While other adults started preparing food for lunch, I sat on a lawn chair resting and watching.

The kids biked for a while around the lake shore, and then they rested on the rocks by the lake, enjoying the view and a late morning breeze. After some water melon, they started a water fight using water guns - as there were only two water guns - they formed two teams, it seemed that it was everyone against Justin. They laughed when Nicholas or Ben sneaked on Justin and gave him a good spray; or when Justin chased an opponent down and soaked on him. 

After lunch, they switched to water balloon fight - now everyone had his/her own weapon. Under the bright, hot noon Sun, they chased one another, throwing water balloon at others, laughing when hitting a target, shouting and shrieking when attacked , running to a faucet filling additional water balloons and getting back into the fights. It must be a great sensation being spatted by a balloon full of water, or seeing reaction of a friend being hit.

Bird Nests

While on my lazy chair, I also noticed there were a lot of birds coming and going at the shelter I was under. Looking up, I saw a big bird compound with two openings under the roof ! In fact there were two bird nests at two ends of  this roof. The discovery caused some commotion in our group, and the birds were sort of startled, hiding in the nest or not flying back home for a while.

When we quiet down, the birds got back to their routine - flying in and out regularly and a couple curious ones, perching at the nest opening, watched the human.:)


This group of  kids really have good chemistry. With the companion of each other, they had so much fun out in the nature (without game boys, without computer games.....). Some parents started talking about another outing together before we left for home!


  1. That was a great camping trip. We should do it again when we have a chance next time.
    By the way, Ben's sister's name is Caroline. :)

    Thanks for bringing up the nice memory, those pictures are gorgeouse!


    1. Sorry for miss-spelling Caroline's name - corrected - post updated