Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day when bloggers are writing about one important issue - the environment. All our blogs have different agendas and readerships, but the idea is to write a post which pertains to some environmental issue. To learn more or read other Blog Action Day posts, just click on the image to the left. Some friends from the blogroll who are also participating include Pure Florida, Hawk Owl's Nest, and Dharma Bums.

Seeing as I'm not much in the mood for preaching at you about something you hopefully already feel is important, I thought I would instead reminisce a bit about one of the ways that, as a kid, I was introduced to the great outdoors. I grew up in the 70's and most years we took family vacations that revolved around the water - either the ocean or a lake up north, often in Maine or upstate New York. There were no fan
cy hotels that I remember, just a cabin in the woods or, most often, our pop-up camper. Just looking at these pics brings back happy memories. I loved that camper! The drive to wherever we were going seemed to last forever, as did the anticipation for the trip. The morning of leaving, my dad always seemed to leave all the details of getting the camper ready to the very last minute - hitching that thing up to his beautiful shiny Cadillac was quite a feat and never seemed to go right. He was always very grumpy starting out on vacation.

I don't rememb
er very many specific details about any of these trips - only the feel of the sun, the sand that was always in my kid-sized bed in the camper, the year we drove to Florida in the rain with the leaky window in the Cadillac and those huge bugs! My mom loved to sunbathe and spent days by the water slathered in oil, while dad with his freckled-skin had to be careful. I tagged along with my big brothers, building sandcastles or tooling around in this big orange boat. Fun times!

When I was older I went camping with the girl scouts or later with friends. I haven't been camping in years, but have all the gear in the attic, purchased years ago in hopes of getting the DH to give it a try. I love camping and think it's a great way to spend time together as a family and enjoy the outdoors. There's something about sleeping outdoors with all the sounds and smells of nature that is a great learning tool, I think, in that it replaces fear for the outdoors with comfort and curiosity. A good thing for kids today who spend so much time indoors or glued to some electronic gadget. Leave all the stuff behind and sit around a campfire and
tell stories instead!

The NWF sponsors the Great American Backyard Campout each year in June. Pitch a tent or set up that old pop-up in your driveway and get a kid playing outside for a change.

7 comments:

bunnygirl said...

If it weren't for the Girl Scouts, I would've never gotten to go camping. It's why I stayed as long as I did.

When I'm camping, I still like to wake up in the middle of the night and walk around in the moonlight, enjoying the stillness just like I did as a kid.

Thanks for the happy memory!

Dave said...

My fondest memory of camping as a kid with my parents, I was about 13 and we took our trailer pulled by dads Catalina from Maryland to Old Orchard Beach Maine. I had a blast and I know my parents did also. All the people we met and the different places we got to see. Thanks for stirring up that memory.

Ruth said...

What nice memories. My parents had a similar tent trailer and they drove many miles with 5 children and a dog in our big station wagon. I remember the fun, but my mom did a lot of work preparing meals on a Coleman stove and keeping us relatively clean.

dguzman said...

My family only ever went camping one time, a big fishing trip/camp on the beach at a place called Port Mansfield in south TX. It was a lot of fun, but what I distinctly remember was feeling sand EVERYWHERE (ick) and all of us positively REEKING of fish/seaweed smells on the drive home. I will never camp on a beach again!

Now, Kat and Em and I go camping every couple of years in one of the forested state parks around here. We all really enjoy it.

Thanks for sharing your memories.

Mary said...

That's wonderful, Laura! Thanks for the memories.

We didn't have a camper but we always went to the state park for day trips. Your trips to the beach brought back memories. And, my Dad was also grumpy before leaving :o)

We also didn't have real tents so we made them with sheets and blankets strewn over and clipped to the clothesline. Corners were anchored with books or anything we could get our hands on.

Outdoors was always preferred over TV. No computers, no electronic gadgets. We had it ALL...imaginations and a desire to do-it-yourself.

Larry said...

Great nostalgic memories!I grew up in the 70's taking similar type of vacations to Maine and new Hampshire in rustic cabins-loved it!

ReluctantChickenFarmer said...

Ahhh, the good ole days. I distinctly remember the homemade submarine sandwiches that Mom would make for us for dinner on the arrival night of the camping trip. We would sit around the cramped table in the camper and eat and wait for Brian to get yelled at. Kinda funny thinking about this immense shinny Cadillac pulling a pop up camper all over the place. That crazy inflatable boat got lots of use. Took hours to blow up with that hand pump.

Hey, we should organize a family camping trip one of these days. I could use some mosquito bites on my face...