First Timers

My first camping trip was an experience I will never forget. I was six years old and got to go with my dad and brother to a nearby lake. We ate delicious food cooked over the fire, swam in the lake and used the bathroom outside. It was the first of many camping trips, and gave me the itch to get outside.

Recently I had the privilege of taking a few friends camping for the first time in their lives. We’re talking total newbies, they had no idea what they were doing. A couple of them didn’t have sleeping bags and couldn’t understand that people actually sleep outside on purpose! I knew they would be in for an amazing experience.

Well, our plans started to derail as we headed out on the road. A light rain forced us to change our camping spot from an obscure site to one at a more accessible campground. The rain slowed down and we were able to cook some hot dogs over the fire and get the tents popped up. It drizzled some more as we huddled under a tarp around a small fire, it was a sight to behold.

We all said goodnight at midnight and went to asleep, only to be awakened by a slow drip at 1am. The “waterproof” tents didn’t hold up to the rain and we spent most of the night sleeping in puddles. The rain poured on into the morning and our plans of hiking were cancelled. All in all it was a pretty horrendous night and we were all bummed out.

On the way home that morning we talked and laughed about the wetness, the disappointments and the sheer awfulness of camping in the rain. We all learned a good lesson on that first trip: spending time with friends is great even if the conditions suck. We made a great memory, and here’s to hoping that those first timers will go out again