5 Mile Lake in Mayo doesn’t have a campground playground. Not right in the campground, mind you, but there is one down the short lake at the day use area.

Playgrounds at the campsite have become much more important in this third evolution of camping.

What the 5 Mile Lake campground does have is a great dock and a couple of swimming platforms right at the campsites.

The kids had a blast in the warm, shallow lake.

We did have to get the kids past the idea that there might be leeches in the lake and then get them past the fact that Ben “found” a leech .. right there on his leg. It was a little drama lakeside.

The leech turned out to be a good thing in the end, because we could tell the kids that leeches hung out around the docks and, if they spent more time swimming and less time hanging off the dock, they could thusly avoid the leeches.

The great challenge was to swim to the second platform in the lake. The lake was small enough that it warmed up early and you can see easily from almost one end of the lake to the other.

The lake was warm enough that even Tammy made it into the water.

Ben turned out to be a natural with a paddle. The neighbours had a canoe and two boys just a year or two older than Ben. They went out in the canoe on their own and let Ben join them. Ben paddled like a champ from the safe middle position of the canoe for most of the morning.

After a while, Ben wanted to go out with Dad. He took the front and I took the back and gave him a quick lesson on paddling and the responsibilities of the front person, which was to paddle and follow the instructions of the back person. And the responsibilities of the back person, which was to steer the boat and give directions to the person in the front of the canoe.

Well, it wasn’t long before Ben decided that he wanted to be the guy in the back, giving the orders instead of taking them. I gave him the chance and he took great control of the boat. I put away my paddle and lay back and let Ben do all the work. He brought us straight to the dock.

Over the course of the day, Ben even managed to get one of those little inflatable rowboats to go where he wanted it to. I’ve never been able to do that.

Emily swam from sun up to sun down … well, that doesn’t happen in a Yukon summer, so from Wake Up to Bed Time. Getting her out of the water long enough to eat was a huge challenge.

She woke up in the morning, rubbed her little eyes, grabbed her still damp swimsuit and asked, “Mom, can we go swimming?”

The rest of the day was spent at the water, naturally. Kids are easily distracted and swimming didn’t hold their attention the whole time. A lot of the time was spent down the lake (to the right) in a little bay catching frogs … an unbelievable number of frogs. I’m still not convinced the kids didn’t manage to sneak a frog home from that trip.

We managed to fit in a visit to the little museum in Mayo and I am sure there was ice cream in there somewhere.

A trip to Mayo wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Keno. We had a great drive up to the signpost on Keno Hill.

The museum in Keno is about the coolest museum I have ever been to. It’s the first time I’ve been able to let my dog walk free through a museum.

A pizza from Mike’s Place, definitely the best pizza in Keno, and we were back to the campsite.

At the end of the weekend, we had to drag the kids out of there and already they are looking forward to their next trip to Mayo.

Oh yeah, on the way out of the campground, we drove past that “important” campsite playground and the kids didn’t even look at it.