Our camping trip: The good, the bad, and the creepy-crawly
Disclaimer: If you are a real camper, I should confess that we didn’t pitch a tent. We stayed in a rather rustic cabin with an electric light. We had access to a real kitchen. We were only about a half-hour from home. We had cell phone service. And the toilets may have been far away, but there were toilets, and they flushed. So judge if you will, but it was as close to camping as I wanted to try.
So we went camping and survived. In fact, we did better than survive. We made it home intact and with stories to tell. No one was eaten by a bear, no one was bitten by a snake, and the children had lots of fun.
Here’s what I liked:
I didn’t have to plan meals. Because we went with our Cub Scout pack, someone else thought about all the meals. And there seemed to be lots of meals and snacks involved. It seems to me that food is a big part of camping, and we weren’t exactly living off the land. If we had been, we would have eaten this....
We were together. My husband came too, so we were camping as a family of four. When bedtime came, and there were anxieties over spending the night in a bug-infested cabin, I was especially happy we were all there. We prayed and asked St. Francis of Assisi to intercede for us and keep the bugs away. I feel certain that he helped.
There were some really fun moments. Our sons had a blast. They loved the rope swings and the ropes course. There was even a fishing spot nearby. The boys had the chance to roast marshmallows in the fire—and I do mean in the fire. I managed to take some photos to capture the best parts, and I am always grateful for an opportunity to get pictures of our boys.
We got plenty of exercise. The latrines were up a hill and far away from everything, and our cabin was up another hill the other way. I'm nor sure whether this should be listed as something I liked. Let's just say we were happy to be there on a sunny day.
The sounds of the woods were fascinating. Every time I woke up during the night, I heard owls or frogs outside. And the only thing better than knowing owls and frogs are nearby is knowing they are on the other side of the wall.
It was easy to forget life outside of the camp. Even though I had worried about leaving my many writing assignments to go camping overnight, I hardly thought of them while we were camping. It was surprisingly relaxing to be away from civilization.
I didn’t pack much for the trip, but I did bring a Frappuccino. When I woke up and realized I had a Frappuccino to drink, I was so happy.
Here’s what I wasn’t a huge fan of:
There were insects and big spiders. As I was trying to check my email while falling asleep, a moth kept landing on my phone—the only light in the room. I finally gave up. You can probably tell I was really into living in the wilderness. In the morning when we woke up, Daniel said, “There’s a big dead ant on my pillow.” And there was.
This spider was not in our cabin. It was right next to the door of the girls' bathroom.
We could all have used more or better sleep. Somehow we all fell asleep even though the cabin was hot and there were insects flying around. Then in the middle of the night, John and I heard a huge bang. We jumped out of bed thinking one of the boys had rolled onto the floor. We still don’t know what it was, though the best guess anyone came up with involved Bigfoot throwing a rock at the cabin.
I felt so dirty. I really missed my own shower.
But it was a great trip, and I am so happy we all went. At the end of our stay, we were getting ready to leave, and Daniel was swinging on his favorite swing for the last time.
“What’s the best part about camping out?” I asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said. “These swings maybe. Or lots of things. But it will never be sleeping.”
He’s so right. The sleeping was the least fun part.
Then a few minutes later as we carried our sleeping bags to the car, I heard his brother say, “Next time we should stay in a tent.”
5/3/2017 10:39:46 PM
By Rita Buettner