Monday, July 11, 2011

Camping Observation Day

Each summer our church reserves space at a campground two hours north and families drive up with cars and trucks and minivans loaded down will food and sleeping bags and tents. And they stay there for days at a time. And according to them, they have a blast.

Many of these friends have encouraged us to join them. I have said no. Until Saturday, that is. Because this past Saturday, I headed to Cranhill Ranch to conduct Camping Observation Day.

On the bus, headed for the river
We had to be there by 11 because Sean, Rebecca and Michael were going tubing with many of the folks from church. I stayed behind because as committed as I am to not camping, I’m even more committed to not being in a bathing suit unless absolutely necessary.

While they were tubing, I hung out with three friends, who showed me around the campsite. I saw a dining tent (had no idea there was such a thing) and a sleeping tent. And then Heidi took me in her camper. When she opened the door she said, “Oh my word, I hope the baby isn’t too cold in here.” Y’all, sweeter words have never been spoken. It was blissfully chilly. Apparently only her eldest child knows how to adjust the remote controlled temperature thingy, and he was on the tubing trip. A sweet little bonus for me from God.

Even though there were air conditioned trailers nearby, we spent the majority of the day at the beach. The one good thing about swimming in Michigan is there are no sharks. I cannot tell you how stirred up my stomach got each time one of my little people would take a dip in the Atlantic. No Jaws worries here – one major bonus for the peninsula state.

Our friends were kind to answer our questions about the campground and two friends let me take a good look at their 5th wheels. Someone told me that wasn’t real camping, but it was real enough for me.

There was tubing and horseback riding and basketball playing and swimming – all fabulously fun activities for adults and children alike.  But the real bonus is there is time to spend visiting with friends I normally only see in passing on Sunday mornings or during church meetings or at Bible study. Which would be the only reason I'd ever even entertain the notion of going back.

By the time Observation Day was over, Sean, Michael and Rebecca were ready to sign up for next year. Heck, Rebecca was so excited she actually spent the night there in a tent with several of her girlfriends.  

Amy wasn’t with us to experience the day, and she’s still a strong, “No camping” vote. But with the right rented camper with an a/c unit that blows as cold as ice, I think I can convince her. And maybe even myself.


Photo courtesy Jen Vanderwey
Proof I was there!

Sean and Michael (and Michael's buddy, Owen) were
as excited about the bus ride as they were the tubing!

Family campers enjoying dinner together

Photo courtesy Jen Vanderwey
Rebecca and her friends getting ready for a trail ride