Friday, September 10, 2010
I have been camping in my life a total of eight times. Yes, that was a one-digit number. I can remember camping with my family one time ever, and it was not the fondest memory I have. My dad was grouchy, which, in turn, made my mom grouchy, which in turn, made us kids grouchy. I don't recall even roasting marshmallows or anything of that nature that night, and I'm pretty sure we just had sandwiches for dinner and left before breakfast. I was ten.
Five other times I camped were girls' camp. I didn't go to my 6th year. I went to girls' camp in Texas the first four years and absolutely loved it. We had a very tight-knit stake and I loved being able to spend time with my friends in other wards that I never saw. We camped in some pretty cool places too. My fifth year was in Utah and I was less than impressed with the camp. For one thing, nights were freezing. In the middle of July, I was unable to sleep because of how cold it was. There weren't very many activities during the day either. And the leaders discouraged us from spending time with other wards--they wanted us to just hang out with our own ward. In Texas, we had activities ranging from horseback riding to archery to canoeing and kayaking. In Utah, we had crafts. I really didn't like it. So I didn't return for my sixth year. I used cheerleading and work as my excuse--I was too busy.
The next time I went camping was with one of my expert camping friends and two other girls in college. We went for a whole weekend, just us girls, to Fish Lake. By then I had figured out how to beat the cold (wear a hat and thermal underwear) and it was a great experience. That was in 1999.
The next time I camped was last summer, 2009, at a ward campout. Because we were in Arizona, and we had no information about the campground, we were unprepared for the weather. It was quite cold and we didn't have warm pajamas, extra blankets, or even jackets. It rained all night. We were freezing. The kids cried a lot, and I forgot my earplugs, so we didn't sleep. We left at about 6 am, after our kids had been up for 2 hours.
Tonight is a ward campout. We didn't own a tent until yesterday. Last year, we borrowed my parents' tent. Even though we didn't camp as a family, my parents raised 5 Eagle scouts and still have much of their camping gear stored. So yesterday, my husband and I went to the highly recommended outdoor store and spent nearly $800 on a tent and two sleeping bags (the kids already have sleeping bags).
I wondered why we were spending so much money when we are not campers. My husband has been camping a total of about five times in his life--a couple father/sons campouts when he was a kid and two since becoming a dad, plus that ward campout last year.
He insists that now that we have a really good quality tent we will camp more.
I will not be camping tonight. I will be joining them for the dutch oven dinner and games and then taking our daughter home to sleep in the warm house. It is supposed to be in the 40's tonight. I hope my boys will be warm enough. I can't camp right now. Sleeping in a place without a bathroom ten feet away would be a nightmare, since I'm up about six times a night to pee right now.
I'm excited for the dutch oven dinners. Those are always so good. The best part of the ward campout is that dinner and breakfast are provided. I might pack up some ingredients for s'mores for the boys. Hopefully we have fun tonight, despite the cold, and we'll go camping again. Although I sincerely doubt it will be until next summer, when it warms up again.