Campsite a’la Dad

There are many ways to enjoy a camping adventure. There is tent camping which can be done at designated campgrounds or in backcountry. There is camper camping and cabin camping which offer a few more creature comforts than tenting. And then there is backyard camping where you pitch a tent right on your own little piece of earth. Tim and I both had very different experiences growing up.

My family were backyard campers. I remember many times when my dad would pitch a tent on the one level spot in our yard and the kids would “sleep out”. We never officially went camping beyond this because my dad was a guardsman and said he did his share of sleeping on the ground during annual field exercises. But he would set us up nicely and even chuck a few leftover MRE’s to us. We always felt like it was a special event even being so close to the house.

Tim and I both had very different experiences growing up

Tim’s family had a camper; the ol’ Jamboree as my husband called it. They enjoyed many family times at camp grounds and Knoebels. It was tight quarters for a family of six, but that is the stuff memories are made of. My own memory of the Jamboree was traveling with my soon to be in-laws from PA to Wisconsin for Tim’s college graduation. His sister and I played rummy most of the way there.

In light of Fathers’ Day, I wanted to write about these memories because our dads had such an important impact on them. Be encouraged, Dads, when you may be tempted to think you are not doing enough or doing too much. If you set up a tent and let the kids have at it while you rest tired bones in your bed, the kids will still make awesome memories. If you pack everyone in a small space and get more complaints than compliments for your efforts, you are still doing a great thing for your family. Onward ho, Dads! And happy Father’s Day.

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