Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham NH was a wonderful spot for our first family camping trip of the season. As we are a family of seven, with four teenagers, my oldest son decided to set up a campsite on his own, close enough for visits, but far enough for independence. He hadn't counted on multiple visits from a pair of barred owls directly overhead. They took turns arguing over whose site it was. Ben eventually won. Once our sites were set up, and the campfire started, the rest of the kids took off exploring the woods around the campsite. There were huge glacial boulders all around, and their explorations turned up this Blanding's turtle, one of NH's seven native turtles, and identified as a species in greatest need of protection by the New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan. This guy was moving pretty steadily toward its goal, most likely a nearby stream. We watched it awhile, then left to explore Pawtuckaway's waterfront. Mountain Trail, accessed from the park entrance, skirted remarkable boulder formations and provided stunning views. There were a few ponds along the trail which were of course inhabited by.....turtles! Our weekend was filled with activities to please everyone, with a nice combination of well-prepared, relaxing spaces as well as wild, challenging explorations. Our aunt shared a link with some fun camping tricks, and I adopted one which made our night much more illuminated! This is simply a candle surrounded by water bottles with their labels removed. We tried it with gallon jugs of water next, which worked great as well! Another ingenious tool we used was an empty #10 coffee can, drilled with a few holes, and filled with charcoal and twigs. This made a wonderful campfire mini-stove to heat our water kettle on. Morning coffee and tea are VERY important on camping trips... My husband suggested that next time, he would freeze water in the can, then puncture the ventilation holes. Do you have any treasured camping tricks to share?