The wee ones asked me this morning if summer was over. It's the first time it's been under 70 degrees since the start of school, and it's a grey, dreary morning. We carefully checked the calendar and decided that no, summer wasn't quite over yet - even though it felt like it this morning. And, I promised them, there are some things about summer that we'll keep alive so there's a part of summer always in our hearts.
Their eyes brightened at this notion, and they immediately asked what we'd do. Put on the spot, there were only a few things I could come up with in the heat of the moment. We'll still do lots of playdates, I promised. That's something we frequently do in the summer, but once school hits, we get too busy to think about it. And, I smiled broadly, we will still make S'mores every once in awhile.
At that, the mood brightened and lifted, and I was off the hook. It will never cease to amaze me how simply mentioning s'mores or setting a few ingredients on the kitchen table induces such excitement not just in the wee ones but in everyone who sees or hears about them.
We've been having "HERSHEY'S CAMP BONDFIRES" this summer, and it's been a blast. The lure of making s'mores is a draw for just about anyone I know. And they come running. Even at BlogHer this year, the Hershey's S'mores Suite was one of the places to be. I know I enjoyed my visit(s) - and my s'mores.
Back home, we've had just as much fun. We invited friends over to chill with us in the evenings after we've left the pool so exhausted we can hardly move. There's just that last bit of energy we need to expel before we all head to our own homes, and Camp Bondfire was born. It rotates from house to house sometimes, depending on whose house is clean enough to host others. The first words out of the mouths of every one of my friends is "Oh please excuse the mess. My house is a disaster right now" - regardless of how spotless it is. It's become a running joke.
I remember the days as a Girl Scout sitting around a fire roasting marshmallows for our s'mores and telling stories, bonding with the others there. It's the same idea today. Sitting around and chatting - you can't do much else when eating a s'more - is a great bonding experience for the kids and adults. I'm so proud of the wee ones that they're starting to learn to toast their own marshmallows. We've lost a few soldiers to the fire along the way, but there always seems to be just one more in the marshmallow bag when we need one.
And once the marshmallow is done to the perfect level - perfectly evenly golden brown on all sides and gooey for me, burned to a crisp for my husband and Mister Man - we sit back and enjoy with family and friends. When the wee ones were on their RV trip with my husband and parents, the nightly s'mores were a favorite treat, too.
While the kids are usually the ones who ask for seconds, the adults rarely turn down the offer of a freshly toasted s'more. The gooey marshmallow melting the creamy milk chocolate with a crunchy graham cracker to hold it all together is something that appeals to everyone. Even when Mister Man had his sensory issues and couldn't eat many foods because of the textures, s'mores was always a winner in his book. It was our little therapy to give him something with so many different and gooey textures. At least that was our justification, because who just makes one s'more? We always had to make enough for ourselves, too, because... yum.
Because no one can resist HERSHEY'S CAMP BONDFIRE. And really, who wants to? Especially when you have the opportunity to enjoy a "double s'more." Lucky boy, right?
How do you celebrate your own Camp Bondfire?
In the interest of full disclosure, I received supplies to host my HERSHEY'S CAMP BONDFIRE gathering to share with my friends. I was also compensated as part of this campaign. As always, all opinions expressed remain my own.