For most families this would mean throwing together a picnic and hitting the road however for us it's not that simple.
We were meeting at 10:00 am, an hour from our home, which resulted in a 6:00 am wake up call for Mom and Dad and hitting the ground running. Each morning we try and get up beofre the kids so we can shower, dress, prepare breakfast, etc. before the kids are up. On top of the usual routine today we had too pack for the day.
So what's needed for 6 hours on an island, without any amenities, for our large family?
Food....lots and lots of food. 6 dozen hotdog wieners, 4 dozen buns, condiments, 4 bags of potato chips, 6 bags of marshmallows and a flat of water. Plus daily medication, diapers, wipes, multiple changes of clothes, first aid kit and sunscreen. A plan of how and where we will change the childrens diapers as public washrooms/outhouses don't accommodate 10 year old "infants". Hats, sunglasses and hoodies to help with all of our sensory issues. We also opted for a wagon and strollers instead of the wheelchairs (our wheelchairs don't do well on forest trails).
Once we had the basic prep for the day done it was time to get the kids up, on top of the regular routine we had....3 wet beds and 1 soiled bed (with added finger painting) resulting in 4 unplanned showers, 4 linen changes, 2 extra loads of laundry and a lesson on wall cleaning for our young artist. One teen returned for more appropriate footwear, an adult child needing lessons on clothing choices for a warm spring day, a discussion with an adult child on why she must pack sanitary products for a day out and one teen strongly encouraged to eat breakfast.
Once load into the bus and 10 minutes down the road we needed to turn around as I noticed that the 4 year old had 2 left shoes. We get going again trying to make up for lost time and come around a corner to a complete traffic stand still with vehicles turned off. Nobody is going anywhere because the air ambulance has landed on the highway for a medical emergency.
We finally arrive at the boat, that was nice enough to wait for us and we head to the island for some fun. While at the island we explored the shore line, found a nest of snakes (which was exciting for some), a couple climbed a tree hoping to find a geocache, found another geocache, hiked, played and ate. We were thankful for the first aid kit when our young adult cut the tip of her finger exiting the outhouse, we really don't know how she managed that. Overall it was a very enjoyable day and well worth every minute of work getting there.