4 Things I Learned From Our Family Camping Trip.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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A few months back we took a family camping trip to Mackinaw City, Michigan. I loved this trip because the area we camped in was gorgeous, the weather was very cool for mid-July, and it was just a nice getaway in the middle of a hectic summer.

This was also a pioneer trip because it was the first time we had gone tent camping with our 6 younger children, the youngest being 3! Some of you might call that a suicide mission, and you would be right.

Here’s a couple of pictures from the trip…

Most of us + the family dog (our older son was off playing with a cousin)


The scene of the crime! Our campsite.


On one particular afternoon, as I watched my children play, I began to think about all the things that I had learned from just a few days on vacation in Michigan. Here are 4 of them….

1. I love my family!

I just really love every single one of these people. They make me smile. I love my wife’s graceful ways. I love my 4 son’s energy (sometimes LOTS of energy). I love my 10 year old daughter’s creative and humorous personality. I love my 11-year old daughter’s adventurous and care-free spirit. I am blessed to have such an amazing, beautiful family!

2. People are weird, including us.

Just look at the picture above- we’re a walking freak show! We’re okay with that. We know we are weird. I think somewhere between my 3-year old picking up a stick and pretending to shoot people we passed on the street, and my daughter making up songs that she sang and danced to in the middle of crowds of people with no fear, we solidified our weirdness. But I also noticed the people around us- there was the man who walked to the showers every morning wearing nothing (and I do mean nothing) but boxer shorts with a towel slung over his shoulder. And then we had the pleasure of camping next to a family who went to bed at 9 pm (seriously, who does that when they’re camping?) and expected everyone else in the camp to turn all lights off and stop talking when they did. Yes, it was an interesting week from the weirdness point of view!

3. I was way too stressed out.

I needed a break. In fact, we all did. The summer was running us ragged. I believe every family should have time away like we had. I know it’s not always feasible but it’s so healthy and needed. It was valuable time for us to reconnect and recalibrate, especially before another school year began.

4. My family deserves my best.

I made the decision, before this trip began, to disconnect myself from my work back home during the course of this vacation. I didn’t check email or answer phone calls or texts for 13 days. Guess what? I didn’t miss out on anything. No one died, the church didn’t fall apart in my absence, and life, as we know it, went on.
While disconnecting entirely (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is still a work in progress for me, I realized that my family deserves uninterrupted time and focus. They deserve the best part of my energy and love. Of course there will be demanding times when deadlines are knocking on my door and people are in need of this and that. But I have to save the best part of me for the people that matter the most!


Question- Have you had similar take-aways or lessons from a recent vacation? What were they? 

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.