I really wanted to upload some more pictures, but I am experiencing technical difficulties just slightly more difficult than this tired, mom-brain can handle.
We only stayed one week. Had my husband been with us, I believe we could have stayed much longer. After four days, my four year old was missing his brother and father too much. When the water pump was shut off and my son had an 'accident' because he couldn't make it from one bathroom to the other to do the doo, it caused him so much embarrassment that he was throwing fits every time we left his 'comfort zone', which was far too small a radius.
TIPS for coming with kids:
*They must be comfortable with peeing (and pooping) out of the house and in odd places. Using the Willow Bank Toilet wasn't too hard, but peeing when out working was a stretch for my little guy, and not something I have ever considered an issue before.
*Pack bug bite kits EVERYWHERE. I am the only one who got stung, but having the kit handy was amazing.
* Really listen to the podcasts. Seriously. Paul is the same person on podcast as he is in person. Don't expect anyone to be any different around your kids, and you'll be totally happy! (AKA - people swear; have different spiritual/religious backgrounds, different politics. None of that mattered to me - we were there to learn. If it matters to you - don't come, you'll be offended/triggered/insulted, guaranteed.)
* The area is FULL OF DANGERS. Natural (rocks, wasps, mountains, etc) and man made (sharp/heavy tools, possible Legionella exposure, fire/hot stuff) Basically, assume the whole place is booby trapped for kids because there is NO WHERE that is "kid proofed"
* Realistic Expectations: Having kids isn't had. Having kids while trying to do anything else is difficult. My 15 year old was able to work half days consistently, but he wasn't acclimated to the heat and still needed "mom" to help him; that meant I was parenting two kids, and couldn't really be a boot. I really, really wanted to be a boot. I chose to be mom.
* When well fed and working WITH someone they like, more gets done. Choose your projects based on your kiddo's interests, and you can do more!
*Extra clothes for littles - they just get SO DIRTY and it's easier when you can just enjoy it.
*Portable toys. I wish I was better about bringing things the 4 year old would play with - the reality is, he wanted his brothers and no books, Legos, or dinosaurs were enough when he was with only me.
I was overwhelming blessed by the BOOTs and WOOFs who were there. Several of them helped my kids do BOOT activities and my boys both loved it! My boys are used to being outside, used to using tools, and used to doing what they are told. If you are even CONSIDERING coming, your kids had better be much the same - more Boy Scout of the 50's than millennial cub scout.
I will ABSOLUTELY COME BACK in a year or two. . . without the little kids. They will stay at Grandmas for two weeks while I bring my Eagle Scout and CAP kids to learn alongside me and my husband. If you have a partner who can also take the time off and travel with you, it may be worth bringing a kid or two. But don't expect to be able to get much out of it for yourself. It is hard work, and harder to do while raising a kid.