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Mom Mondays: The changing face of the family hockey tournament road trip

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By the time this is posted, we will be back from our first hockey tournament of the season, the 32nd annual Cornwall Girls Hockey Tournament. Earlier this year, I wrote a post about surviving tournament weekends.

Since they form the basis of so many great minor hockey memories, I think a tournament weekend is worthy of another post.

My three kids and I have approach tournament weekends very differently. Their packing list includes hockey gear and a bathing suit. My packing list includes everything they’ve forgotten – which might also include the hockey gear and bathing suit!

Hockey kids really look forward to these weekends though, especially when the tournament schedule allows for a Friday off school. While the fun of tournament weekends continues, their tournament packing list must-haves have certainly changed. Here’s a taste of tournament packing through the years…

There were the early years…

Remember when the hockey equipment only took up just a small section in the back of the van? That’s a good thing because it left ample room for stuffed animals, blankies, mini sticks, Gameboys, portable DVD players, juice boxes and goldfish crackers.

Before leaving any hotel room, it is scoured to ensure the precious “Stuffie” is not accidentally left behind, otherwise the whole world goes down in smoking flames.

Then the middle years …

The hockey equipment takes up a bit more room now, especially when there’s more than one bag as you’ve caught on to the efficiency of carpooling.

The players are also taking up more room yet still manage room for the Wii or Xbox … and God forbid that the mini-sticks or road hockey sticks be left behind! Alongside the cooler is maybe the craft box, for the girls’ hockey team as downtime between games is spent painting nails and wrapping hair. They’re a bit more independent now, and running from hotel room to hotel room without you (until the security guard catches up with them).

Popcorn, chips and pop have replaced the juice boxes and goldfish (but we tried, didn’t we?). Still we double check the hotel room making sure the previous EA Sports NHL12 was not left behind otherwise the whole world goes down in smoking flames.

And finally, the later years …

The hockey equipment now takes up a major portion of the car or van. There’s not much room for anything else and suddenly the hotel room also seems awfully crowded (don’t dare forget the air freshener).

There are no more centre ice mascots to pack, or precious stuffed animals. Hunger is a little more easily staved off until the team pizza party later that evening. Maybe homework and a laptop fill that backpack (because I really don't want to know what else).

They may even be driving themselves to hockey tournaments now but they still need you there. Who else with scour that hotel room to make sure the precious iPhone charger is not accidentally left behind, otherwise the whole world goes down in smoking flames?

But on every trip is packed the hockey gear – Always the hockey gear.

And the hockey mom… always the hockey mom!

Three cheers for tournament road trips – and the hockey moms that pack for them!

Tags: minor hockey

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