We just had our semi-annual camp out at Brazos Bend State Park. I like to call it Baptist Bend! We have been going for years and it is interesting to think back on how we used to do things and how many of those things have changed.
When we first started going, we rented 3 shelters. One for the men, one for the women and one for the kitchen and the cry babies and their moms.
Now we rent 10 to 12 shelters and we stay in them as families. We are now renting what I call the ‘big house’. It is a huge air conditioned building with tables and kitchen. I don’t know if it makes cooking any easier, we used just a plain old shelter for many years and we all did pretty well with a plug in and a water spigot!
If you have a trailer, you get to bring your bikes. If you don’t, then you just walk every where, which isn’t so bad. Most of us can run faster than the alligators anyway. We’ve played volleyball, washers, softball and Frisbee. Since we have the big house, more table games are played. The women bring pretty tablecloths and we all compare snacks we chose. Quite a while back, there were flashlight contests. We would shine them into the sky to see who had the strongest light. We all kind of got over that and now nobody notices if you have one from the Dollar General.
We’ve gone when it was so cold I didn’t know if I could make it through the night trying to sleep. I remember standing in front of the fire with the wind blowing the smoke to where ever my eyes were and not wanting to make my way to the cold cold shelter! I guess I lived through all of those freezy breezy nights! This past week-end it was very warm, but mostly humid…….anything is better than rain!
I don’t have to worry about little kids being really close to the ground so much any more! I remember drying little tennis shoes in the windows of the shelter. I also left a stroller too close to the fire one night and found out the little hat that I left on the handle was somehow burned in the fire. I’ve taken sippy cups and play pens for the kids, and bubbles, we always had bubbles!
We’ve eaten hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, spaghetti, chicken, pancakes, eggs and bacon, powdered do-nuts, s’mores and LOTS of chips.
I ate my first string cheese on the porch of a shelter one night when it was raining. We all were kind of stuck there, so I guess we started sharing what was in our ice chests! I think that’s where I tasted my first Snapple’s, too!
Our son had his worst bike accident at this park, HUGE tree branches have fallen out of the clear blue sky causing all of us to look for our kids and we have all slept with rocks in our bed……..but the fellowship has been worth it all.
So, you might not get the best night’s sleep on your creaky cot, but night doesn’t last forever. The raccoons might get into your trash, but it was your fault for leaving it out. You may get a sunburn, it may look like a long way from the #1 shelter by the playground to the bathroom, but chances are, somebody will walk with you and you will have a nice visit! It may not be real fun when you get home to find piles of damp smoky smelling sheets, but I’ve always found it worth every minute of being with my favorite people. My church family. I’m looking forward to many more camp outs and hopefully, adjust gracefully to the evolution of our good times with each other.