I was not raised in an outdoorsy household. We were ‘sporty’ but not ‘outdoorsy’. My mom played tennis at a club, we rode bikes, skied regularly, and my dad even went on fishing trips. He rested in a very nice condo at night, however. I had no desire to camp and it was never something that our family even attempted. When we moved to Omaha, we found a lovely church and one of the youth highlights for the entire year was this church camp thing. My mom signed us up. It was a good way to meet and bond with new friends. We went to Walmart and I chose a sleeping bag that had my favorite shade of green for the lining. We didn’t ask about temperatures it was suited for, or if I needed a head zipper thingy because we were not campers. It was cute; I felt prepared. I packed my matching green nightgown and some hot rollers. I was set for camp.
The age bracket I fell into slept on “the hill”. This was something my fellow campers had spent years waiting to do. It was a big deal. The kids on the hill did not sleep in cabins. You dragged your cot into the middle of a field and all slept together. Oh, and you had to hike to get to the hill. I did not see the fun in any of this, but went along sure that it would get better. The hype was that serious. The first night, I failed to notice that everyone was piling on layers before going to bed because it was dark and I was preoccupied with myself. I slipped into my nightgown and hopped into my cot. I froze my tail off. It was miserable. My sleeping bag was about an inch thick and my synthetic satin nightgown felt like a layer of morning dew. Everyone else had bags that cinched around their heads and were toasty with all their layers. (Thanks for the preparation non-outdoorsy family.) Making do, I hiked down to the showers with my trusty hot rollers. Guess what? No electricity up on the hill. So I am going to wake up each morning freezing cold and spend the entire day with horrible, frizzy hair, and this is just going to repeat itself for an entire week? AND there are cute older boys here too? Super.Fun.Camp. Just when I thought it could not get worse, I find out you play morning games before hiking all the way back down for breakfast. One of the games involved filling your mouth with flour and spitting at other people. DO MY PARENTS HATE ME? Why am I here? I am a musical theater nerd with no interest at all in this nature crap and I am stuck here for a week. I ended up enjoying the friends up on the hill, but I hated the camp. I hated it the next year too, but at least we got to sleep in cabins with electricity. It just wasn’t my thing.
We have friends who invite us to RV with them. I will not go. We have friends who invite us to camp in the desert. Absolutely not…. Why would you go somewhere where you “dig a hole” to go to the bathroom? How is this fun? What I do enjoy immensely now, however, is hiking. My husband and I hiked when we found out our first round of ivf failed. We hiked on my birthday when I was 6.5 months pregnant. We hike after an argument. I can see the beauty in being outdoors and revel in it. We have branched out a few times, but there is a secret trail in La Canada, CA that we find ourselves drawn to. You begin with a tree covered path, next to a dancing stream with fallen logs. It is straight out of a fairy tale. The best part? I go home ready for a hot shower followed by my huge, comfortable bed indoors.