One Happy Camper

When I was a little girl, my family went camping quite a bit. We had no camper or trailer, just tents. Usually our campground of choice was half an hour from home, Long Lake. Many memories were made camping. My mom’s family was normally along, which made it more fun. The days were spent swimming and hiking and playing games. S’mores were the food of choice and we each had our own special sleeping bag. (Mine was a Hawaiian Punch sleeping bag.) Overall my camping experiences were pretty enjoyable.

As my siblings and I grew older, we camped less. Instead we would go to a hotel for the weekend. We would still swim (in a pool), hike (at the mall), and play games. S’mores were no longer an option (no fires allowed), but we brought special snacks along. I enjoyed not getting dirty all the time and having a clean bathroom for use whenever I wanted.

When we would revert back to camping, I came to not enjoy it like I used to. I didn’t like the cleanliness issues. I didn’t like how it seemed like a lot more work to have a good time. (Lots of cooking and lots of dishes to clean!) I didn’t like the lack of temperature control or sleeping on a hard ground. To sum it up I became spoiled. So when camping would be chosen as a weekend getaway, I opted out.

That is, until my dear husband decided that we need to start camping. I expressed to him my “concerns” in regards to this choice of relaxation. He set those aside and took us on a family trip to the local camping supply store. A tent and other accessories were purchased. We prepared for Memorial Day weekend. I actually started to get excited about the fun we would have.

Our campground site was huge. The traffic was busy to the west of us, but nothing that we couldn’t ignore. We could make a fire wherever we desired, and there was a bathroom close by. Okay, I’ll own up… we camped at the shop. There is an acre of property with the shop and we thought for our trial run we would stay close to home… two minutes to be exact.

Everything went well. The girls were having a good time. Meredith was getting very sleepy at the close of the evening. We decided to call it a day and got the girls ready for bed. As soon as the lights went out, sleepy Meredith was once again full of vim and vigor. An hour later she finally relented and fell asleep. I wish I could have said the same. You see, I didn’t realize that it would only be 42 degrees that night. I brought all the blankets I had and Stephen and Natalie’s sleeping bags. While everyone slept well, I stayed awake trying to keep warm.

My only salvation was that at 4:30 Sophie needed to eat. I grabbed my baby and a set of keys and got into my van. With heated seats. And heat. And a DVD player. Guess what? About fifteen minutes later, I looked in my rear view mirror to see my husband and two other girls headed towards me. They were cold too. So, Stephen and I watched the sunrise while Meredith and Natalie watched Cinderella. We still made breakfast on the fire, but by 7:00 we decided to let the girls get some real sleep at home.

Stephen commented on how well our first camping trip went. I agreed. The part where I thawed out was fabulous! I will never complain about my bed ever again. We will try camping again, but perhaps we will check the nighttime temps before we head out. Or get more sleeping bags.

2 thoughts on “One Happy Camper

  1. I love it! Your story reminds me of the time my Girl Scout troop camped out in the winter. We were well prepared. We even took plastic bags to put around our feet so they would not get so cold. We still were really cold. When we finally saw the light of day, we realized there was a layer of ice on our tent. Alas, we had no warm van to go to.

    One more thought: where are the pictures?

    Love, Mom F.

  2. I never thought to inquire as to how the “trip” went – I enjoyed your humorous description. Thank God for heat and DVDs :O)ju

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