Windsor fathers and sons “rough it” for a night | MyWindsorNow.com

Windsor fathers and sons “rough it” for a night

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

Nick Mullen and his son, 4-year-old Carter, had fun "roughing it" Saturday night with nearly 50 other fathers and sons at Oxbow Park.

In the spirit of summer, the Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department hosted a Father-Son Roughin' It camping event. Although the event was a first of its kind for the department, Recreation Supervisor Luke Bolinger said it will not be the last.

"We really wanted kids that maybe don't have an opportunity to go out and go camping," Bolinger said.

One focus of the event was educational activities, including a visit from Windsor Severance Fire Rescue and a fire truck, which Mullen said was one of Carter's favorite parts of the evening.

“Those were what soldiers and marines use when they’re in the field, and I thought it would just be kind of a really unique experience for the kids to really dig into one of those,” Luke BolingerRecreation Supervisor

"It was fun for the kids, just seeing the firefighters down there with the big engine truck," he said.

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Fire safety was also part of the firefighters' visit, and Mullen said they taught the basics to all the children at the event.

But the highlight of the night for Mullen and Bolinger was a lesson in MREs, or meal ready to eat.

"Those were what soldiers and marines use when they're in the field, and I thought it would just be kind of a really unique experience for the kids to really dig into one of those," Bolinger said.

MREs are hard to find and can be expensive, Bolinger said, so many children may not get the chance to experience them. But he reached out to some old friends, who helped him bring the meals to Windsor children.

"That was really fun for me because I come from a military background, so to be able to share that knowledge with the public was really fun," he said.

Children also learned about land navigation, cooked over a campfire and made bracelets, which Mullen said had a compass and a whistle attached.

Although the event is geared toward fathers and sons, Bolinger said the department wanted to include any father figure, from a next-door-neighbor to a grandparent, if a child did not have their father in their life.

For Mullen, the time with his oldest son was a rare opportunity, and he said he is grateful to the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department for its programing.

"Luke and his staff did a great job," Mullen said. "Since we've moved to Windsor we've been very impressed."

Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture events

For more information about upcoming Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture events like the recent Father-Son Roughin’ It camping event, go to http://www.windsorgov.com/188/Activity-Guide.

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