Back in August we went to the “Artgerecht” family camp at Umweltzentrum Drei Eichen.  The camp was in Buckow, which is about an hour east of Berlin, in the beautiful Märkische Schweiz (a nice mountainous area covered in forests and lakes.)   This wasn’t just any old camp… it was all about raising babies, and the whole idea was that we lived as a “clan”, where each family supported the others.  We had seminars every day on various baby-related topics, such as breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, and of course… EC!  Most of the families at the camp practice EC, even with mulitple children.  One family had done it with all four of their kids!  I am secretly in awe of their mom, so I am really happy to learn that they will be moving close to us sometime next year!!  They also have thier own blog, which you can read here.

It was so cool to see so many babies and toddlers running around without diapers.  Some with no pants, some totally naked and covered head to toe in dirt…. it was just beautiful.  It was also nice to hear so many peoples’ stories and experiences.  It really made me feel better to see that a lot of EC-ing parents actually do use diaper back-ups most of the time.  From what I read on the internet I was feeling like we were the only ones not going “all in”.

The whole “clan” aspect of the camp was very cool, too.  We shared a tee-pee with two other families.  You would think that with three babies we would have been awake all night, but would you believe it: each of us only woke up for our own babies, but not the others?  Olivia and I woke up a few times to nurse every night, but the noise never bothered anyone else. And I never woke up for anyone else’s babies’ cries.  I guess mother nature really has our ears trained well.

It was nice to have so many people around to help each other out.  This is something which is really missing in our modern society, where families rarely live in the same house as their relatives, and neighbors stay our of each other’s business.  We really are very much alone and the burden is heavy.

The nature, the people, the babies… being able to relax and just go at our own pace… all in all it was a wonderful experience.  The only thing I would’ve changed is to have made it longer. Well, that and have more food available.  The kitchen seemed to be pretty skimpy and I often went away a bit hungry.   But that was ok, it was still worth it.

And here are the pictures!

Here is me airing out the sleeping bags before our trip. Olivia is helping me pack!

Since the drive up to Berlin was about 7 hours, we decided to spend the night in Berlin before continuing to the camp in Buckow. We didn’t bring a crib, so we just pushed the beds together up against the wall to make a family bed. Here is Olivia rolling around on the bed. And yes, she did discover that light-switch pretty quickly!

We took a whirlwind tour of Berlin on our way out to the camp in Buckow. This is the Brandenburg Gate from the car! 

This is the teepee village. Ours was the extra big one on the right-hand side. We shared it with two other families.

Olivia shared a sleeping bag with me, which was definately the best since the temperatures were in the single digits at night. It was so cold that I really couldn’t take her potty at night. But inside the down sleeping bag it was nice and cozy! She usually slept from about 10pm to 7am, waking up only once or twice to nurse. (basically the same as her schedule at home)

We gathered all our own firewood

I guess I must have a good “mom” vibe going… I even attracted other people’s kids! haha. It takes a village…

One evening we made “Stockbrot” (bread on a stick)

Oscar helping Johanna to make a bowl with burning coals

We did tons of diaper-free time, so we used quite a few pairs of underwear!

Olivia got to try out her teeth on lots of vegitables! She didn’t really eat anything the whole time, though.

Olivia really enjoyed having quality time with daddy.



11 Responses to “Camping”

  1. 1 Dad November 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Camp Concordia had Indian teepees when Della was a teenager.

    • 2 christiana83 November 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      I admit that I was a bit skeptical about the idea of Germans and teepees. But they did a really good job. Maybe they weren’t “authentic”, but nobody was pretending that they were, either. Nobody was “playing indians”. For us they were just a place to stay which was a little nice and bigger than a tent, and a little closer to nature.

      All the activities in the camp revolved around nature, family, and babies. Nothing about Native American culture (except in reference to how they would have raised babies – i.e. carrying them in slings or a papoose, etc)

  2. 3 shoes November 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    What a beautiful and interesting experience that must have been. It is a strange thing to think about how disconnected we have become from our relatives and neighbors and how little help we really have in the raising of our children.

    Nice post – thanks for sharing!

    • 4 christiana83 November 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      I think one of the causes of the disconnectedness is the mobility in today’s society. People no longer stay on the family homestead for generations… they move across the country (or in our case – across the world) for jobs and other reasons. So our families are all spread out, and we don’t stay in one place long enough to develop deep relationships with our neighbors.

      It puts a ton of pressure on us moms to do everything perfectly, but honestly… for most of history we were not alone in running a household! Add to that the pressure to work outside the home, and it really makes being a mom harder than ever.

  3. 5 melaniecarbineMelanie November 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I love that photo of Oscar and Olivia together!

  4. 7 motherhoodisanart November 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    wow!!! This looks like an amazing time!!! I would love to have this kind of experience!!

  1. 1 Diaper Free – Months 6-9 « Insert Cheesy Title Here Trackback on November 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

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