Tuesday, August 16, 2011


When our children were small and we had very little money, we only took two kinds of vacations.  We spent a week with my family in another state and we spent part of a week tent camping in the abundant camping spots near our home.  Our children still plan a summer camping trip each year and go to the same places we took them as children.  Now they're introducing their children to those places and the joys and hardships of tent camping.

Many things have changed at those camp sites. One spot now has flush toilets and rangers who patrol the area.  Trails are marked better.  Where we encountered only a handful of other campers, now the camp sites number over a hundred and most are filled, many with fancy camp trailers, and instead of hiking and wading in the creek, the children race their bikes up and down paved roads.

Much has stayed the same.  No one cares how dirty the kids get.  Food tastes better cooked over a campfire.  Squirrels and chipmunks still scavenge for dropped crumbs. Melted marshmallows smashed between two graham crackers and a chocolate bar are pure ambrosia. There's something fascinating and mysterious about a tent, though sometimes the tent isn't quite so thrilling when night comes and with it bedtime.  There's time to talk and laugh together without the distraction of television.  Unfortunately there are now telephones.

Getting everything together for a camping trip and cleaning up afterward often make young parents wonder if the experience is worth it. In the end though our children must think it is because they treasure the memories from their childhood camping trips enough to want to give their children equally warm and enduring memories.

A few pictures from last week's camping expedition:

And a few from those long ago camping trips:


Kristie said...

Yep, those camping trips my parents took us on are some of my favorite memories. And as I have small children, I am hoping to show them some of the fun memories I have, by visiting places I went as a child. But the best part, and I can say this now that I am an adult, is the time we spent together.

taylorfamily83316 said...

I remember also growing up and camping, when we actually roughed it more than our kids do now. We also went tent camping when I was a child. Weathered the flash-flooding rain storms that came upon us at less than a moments notice, and spent what seemed like days packing up to go camping and doing mountains of laundry when we got home because magically everything got wet during the trip. We now camp a little differently. We recently bought a second hand 20+ year old camper, but it is still more plush than sleeping on the ground. Where we now have a stove, sink, flush toilet and beds to sleep on. But, one thing that will always stay the same is the days on end I seem to spend packing things up to go, and that same mountain of laundry when we get home. But, there will always be the memory or me of us kids huddled together in the tent, trying to stay warm after the rain has let up. Such great times!

Janice Sperry said...

I'm wondering why Dad didn't tell me to put my foot down before he took that picture.

Jennie said...

Janice, I like the bottom one that Lezlie took that shows you with your fist in your mouth. lol

Janice Sperry said...

Good grief. Now I know where Calton gets it.