I love camping. I grew up going camping and have taken my children camping since they were babies. Some of the best camping trips are doing nothing. Lounging on the hammock or reading a good book (well, not with young children around...)
I have so many great memories of camping and some not so great memories. I hate waking up soaked and freezing and feeling so desperate to sleep that I'd scoot as far away as I could from the puddle soaking into my sleeping bag instead of figuring out a new situation in the middle of a cold, dark night. I remember putting layers and layers of clothing on my little babies, socks over there little hands, because I knew they wouldn't keep there covers on. And there's the evenings when it gets cold enough that you'd sooner choose the warmth of a sleeping bag at 8pm rather than shiver by a fire. Then, of course, you wake up with your butt hitting the hard ground when it should have been high above it on a fully inflated air mattress. There's also the question of whether or not to share covers with your spouse or be in your own sleeping bag... Good times.
The there's the entertainment of animals nearby. The squirrels, the raccoons, the occasional deer, the skunks and a bear if you're really lucky! There's the campgrounds where you have to keep your food and even your toiletries in the car for fear of dangerous beasts intruding into your perfect vacation. We've woken up to the sounds of exploding pop cans. Then sending Ben into the darkness to scare away the raccoons who were not at all scared to be there. And you have to be careful, of course when leaving your campsite, to put up everything from lunch lest it be stolen by birds and squirrels. Fun...
What about food? Are you a simple, quick meal planner or do you make more elaborate meals than you would in your own kitchen, with your dutch ovens and your hot coals? Have you had a delicious cobbler for dessert after a great steak dinner or do you hot dog it and finish the meal off with the last bit of your Coke or Dr. Pepper? Quesadillas or peanut butter and jelly? We've done it all.
And then there's camping in a tent trailer which we acquired not too many years ago. Ahh, the feeling of being off the ground... It's nice, isn't it? Even the convenience of sitting on the side of your bed without your knees at your chest is refreshing. Now, I do like the tent trailer but am I not being consistent if I think that motor homes and campers aren't quite "camping"? Don't get me wrong, I love them. I love looking inside all of them and the electricity and the luxury is fantastic but if that's the only way you've ever camped then that's plain cheating!
On Thursday we leave for our church campout at Lake Chelan. We will be tenting it and dutch ovening it. I am very excited and anticipate when I will be done packing and can just enjoy sitting and fellowshipping with our newly found friends. Think of me and I'll pretend you're camping with me.