Fall camp outs a family favorite

Another pic taken of a pic from my scrapbooking album (I can’t find the digital copy I made of all these childhood pictures). This is my brother and me at one of our many fall camp outs. We carved that pumpkin!

For Wednesday’s Arkansas Women Bloggers Blogtoberfest entry, we are all talking about our favorite fall memories. I have lots of memories of fall, but nothing compares to our family camp outs.

Every October, our school would have the first set of Parent/Teacher Conferences. I put those in all capital letters because they were a big deal! For kids like me who hated getting in trouble, parent-teacher conferences really suck. I would live in fear that my teachers would share some bad thing I had been doing but didn’t know about. My parents would schedule the conferences as early as they could (usually the Thursday of the Thursday/Friday sessions) and so after they returned from the usually glowing reports we could head out of town.

Most of the time we went to Cheney Reservoir, which is a lake about um, an hour maybe? from home. Some years we were in tents, but many times we borrowed my grandparents’ motor home. This was especially useful when it rained because we didn’t have to cancel our camping trip! I especially remember one time the World Series being on while we sat out of the rain in the motor home. We made s’mores in the microwave that year (did you know that marshmallows expand like crazy town when nuked rather than cooked over fire?).

Speaking of fire, the camp fires were the best. Matt and I were responsible for gathering starter twigs and sticks and my dad built the fire. He was an Eagle Scout so the camp fires were a work of art, not just a pile of wood that we hoped would light. I remember my front getting so, so hot while my back would get cold. I finally figured out that turning around would be a good idea.

There was also the time my dad fell out of the tree and had to be taken to the ER with a badly, badly broken hand or wrist (I forget which). Guess who returned to the camp site to finish our trip? That either makes him crazy or the coolest dad ever. I’m going with the latter.

I also remember the cereal my mom would buy. She usually tried to help us eat healthy so eating “junk” cereal was a treat. She usually bought those single-serving cereal boxes that come in a mix. I always went for the sugary ones just because I could.

We also sometimes would decorate pumpkins but I don’t recall that being something we did every year.

I’ve grown up (and grown out) so sleeping on the ground is really not my thing any more (who am I kidding, we camped in a motor home). I sometimes want to go camping again and wonder how easy it would be to figure out a battery for my CPAP machine and to find an accessible bathroom nearby. Oh, and there can’t be any critters. At least not the kind that attack animals or people. I love wildlife but would not want a bear to eat our food or any animal to attack our dogs (who would in fact be taken with us, they would LOVE IT).

What are some of your favorite camping stories? Any tips for grown up camping? 

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