On Thursday morning while we were eating breakfast, Roy says to me, “Let’s go camping this weekend.” My initial reaction was, “Uh, no…” I had thoughts of last-minute planning, frantically packing, and the rain/wind that was forecasted for much of the area in the coming days. None of that sounded fun. After much discussion, we decided that we would give it a go. Roy had hunting plans for Friday evening, so we wouldn’t leave until Saturday and it was only going to be one night.
I’m torn about one-night camping trips. It’s a lot of packing for just one night. But sometimes we just need to get out, too, so that’s what we do.
While we were camping along the Pishkun Reservoir on the Rocky Mountain Front (read: WINDY!!!!!), we got to talking about why we camp. What’s the goal of family camping? It surely is not to be comfortable. Not that it is completely uncomfortable or tortuous, but it is not like being in the comfort of one’s home! Nobody gets as much sleep as they really need,
and toddlers and pregnant mamas need lots of sleep! Depending on where we camp, the weather is not always ideal. I was kept awake much of the night at Pishkun with the howling winds that I was pretty sure was going to collapse our tent! Our very first camping trip with Oliver, it rained the ENTIRE time.
So why should we continue to do family camping trips?
Roy and I came up with several reasons. Part of it is about being uncomfortable. Life is sometimes uncomfortable. And we cannot control everything. Camping helps us deal with being uncomfortable and face the things (like weather) that we cannot control.
The big reason we came up with, however, is that family camping is about relationships. We get to experience places together, make great memories (even if it’s not all smiles and rainbows!), be completely present with one another. We get to face the uncomfortable moments as a couple, as a family.
If we wouldn’t have camped at Pishkun for just that one night, we wouldn’t have gotten to see Oliver run through the rolling hills of grasses and wildflowers. We wouldn’t have gotten to see him get SOOO excited to fish and reel the line in himself (and see the Northern Pike can leave a little blood on the hands when they bite Papa!). We wouldn’t have gotten to see him search for the biggest rocks he could carry to throw in the water. Or throw sticks into the river and say, “Bye-bye” to each of them. We wouldn’t have gotten to see him chase the killdeer and imitate their antics.
Sure, we would have all gotten more sleep if we had stayed home. We could have planted another tree in the yard or finished some other house project. But at the end of each camping trip when we’re back at home, no matter the weather, scrapes and bruises, and tantrums, we have ALWAYS said, “That camping trip was worth it!”