Friday, November 12, 2010

REAL Camping

I admit it! I'm a spoiled camper. I've only had to sleep in a tent three times in my life. When I go "camping" it's usually to an air conditioned cabin in the middle of nowhere, with a pool and cafeteria. This Summer though that all changed. I went "real" camping with a group of 15 year old girls from my Church. We went to a river about two hours away and canoed for 5 miles! After the canoeing we drove another hour to our camping grounds. It was beautiful because it was next to a huge lake.
This is what it looked like at night. I didn't bring my camera to the camping trip because I didn't want to ruin it.
                 I had to help put up three tents when I got to the camp groundsView Image. And because I'm not an experienced camper, it took a while. After an hour of attempting to put up the last tent, which kept falling, we finally figured out that we had put the stakes in wrong. Yeah, like I said, I am not an experienced camper or tent setting up person. My group cooked in a dutch oven over a fire that we had to build and use flint to start. I was in charge of gathering twigs and keeping the fire running. I cut up some of the vegetables we were given and we made an amazing soup. We also made things called "Banana Boats", and then we put it over the fire. It was delicious. The amazing food definitely made me like this camp out a lot more. That night we went to sleep in the tent that we had struggled with. I really hoped that it wouldn't fall on us in the night. After laying down my group realized that we had set the tent up on tree roots. The worst part was not the fact that the roots were poking our backs, it was that we knew we couldn't get out and move it. Everyone who had been sleeping in the middle of the tent had to move more to the side to get away from the roots, which meant that all of us sleeping on the sides got scrunched up. It was hot and humid and it felt disgusting outside. There was a roach on the other side of the "window" looking at me all night, and I accidental kicked the girl next to me when I finally fell asleep. I was really grateful that we only had to camp for two nights, and not the whole week. By the morning I was stinky because their wasn't any showers at our camp site. I could not wait to get to our cabins back a Camp Ta-Ku-La to take a shower and enjoy the bliss of air conditioning. Camping and being outside was not too horrible though. It was a character building experience that's for sure. 

This is right after arriving at camp. Yes I did go right for my sister's shampoo so I could get all the sand and other gunk out of my hair! As I said before, I am not a camping kind of girl! 
This is a picture of some of us during lunch break. I loved the canoeing trip. The river was blocked in some places by fallen trees, and our canoe kept getting stuck! The girl I was with was the leader of our canoe but she kept pushing our canoe over. She did it four times, getting everything I brought soaking wet. By the time we finally got the paddling down we had reached the end. It was a lot of fun and I my arms felt very firm by the time it was over! It was an amazing experience to be a part of and I'm thankful for the chance I got to know the girl I was with, and the two girls who stuck around with us.

 *We were the last people to make it to the end because we kept getting stuck and dumped over. While on the river I saw an amazing water snake, I was really grateful that she didn't push the canoe over when we passed it.

*I woke up early both mornings while camping and got to the see the sunrise. It was an amazing experience for me because it felt nice in the morning and I got to sit and think about things that had been bothering me. It was wonderful!

*I plan on going "real" camping again during the winter. I now know that I should check the spot where I put the tent before setting it up, and to bring a can a raid to get rid of the attacking roaches I mean embrace nature, roaches and all.


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