Before I explain my camping trip, I should describe the two other times I’ve been camping. The first time I went camping it was part of the dreaded sleep-away camp experience. I seriously believed that I could die camping—the counselors put the fear of God in us, and I was listening. I slept with my clothes on next to a wood pile. I wiped myself with a leaf. I rationed my water for fear that I would need it. Twenty-four hours later I was surprised to find that I had not passed away.
In college I attempted a one night camping trip. Someone made one of those toxic punches and I can barely remember most of the night. I do know that I woke to a torrential down pour with over fifty ant bites. We high-tailed it to my mother-in-law’s house for a hot shower and some breakfast.
So, I hadn’t exactly earned my nature girl badge, but I was determined to give camping a shot since the Hub loves it so much. After a little snafu with the boarders, we headed to the Heber Springs camp grounds. The K’s were already there, so we pitched our tent (Walmart special), and got to work making a fire. It was hot and there were bugs, but I was doing OK. I collected little twigs and blew on the fire when needed. When the fire finally took, I jumped up and down with joy—I was a real nature girl then! We made foil dinners, put the kids to bed, and told stories around the fire. Everyone went to the showers and I stayed put in case the girls woke up. I heard a rustling by the picnic table, so I turned on my flashlight and there–a yard away from me–was a HUGE raccoon. There was a momentary stand off, and then it ran away–I didn’t scream, I didn’t ask to be taken home. I was earning my nature badge for sure.
Sleeping on the ground was a little difficult, but I got the hang of it, and had a very nice night’s sleep. The morning was a little different than the evening. The K’s daughter woke up throwing up. Something about my presence makes their girls upchuck. By noon, it was clear that we would be going home early. My thought? I wasn’t the first to fold! Yeeeessss. I have earned my nature girl badge. And camping? Not too bad either.