In spite of nearly dying during our first summer as campers, my parents decided to do it again one summer a few years later. We borrowed a camper trailer for the first month or so and then moved back into a tent. We were back at the same campground, in Saco, Maine, and having been there before … it felt like home. This was before life taught me to be so wary of strangers and I recall spending wonderful long summer days wandering the length and breadth of the campground, meeting people from all over! This post is just a conglomeration of some of my favorite camping memories.
All of us were older this year. I had begun babysitting (for a little income) and was loathe to give it up for the summer. With permission from my parents, and the owners of the campground, I put up a sign in the camp store offering on site baby sitting services. I don’t recall many takers but I made a little pocket change.
The one area, in Willey’s Farm Campground, that was off-limits to us kids, per my parents, was a well named place called The Wilderness. Little sunlight made its way past the trees onto the paths in The Wilderness so it was always cool and shady in there. The camp sites in that area had no electric or water hookups. For some reason it seemed to particularly appeal to the French Canadians. I wasn’t super-rebellious but the shady paths of The Wilderness often called to me so I found myself violating the rules once in a while. One particular day I was wandering there and stopped to visit with some Canadians who were cooking dinner. Escargot. They offered me some and I tried it. Not bad. Kind of made me sick when I found out I had been eating snails!
The campground where we lived that summer didn’t have a swimming pool but we made friends with a local family of kids who lived in a big house on the edge of their dad’s car dealership. We were invited to swim there off and on through the summer. Seemed the epitome of wealth to me to have a pool in the backyard! I was a bit nervous though because the kids who lived there had me convinced that I would be surrounded by a circle of bright pink dye if I dared to pee in the pool!
One of my favorite memories, from that time, was riding down the dusty dirt roads, of the campground, on the tailgate of the family station wagon. Mom didn’t approve the activity but Dad was willing to indulge us once in a while!
I look back on those summers now and wonder if maybe my kids would have been better off having had similar experiences. We spent those summers hiking to and from the bath house and all over the campground. Burning off any calories that we took in on those warm summer days. Friends came and went as we encountered other campers of differing nationalities, ethnicities, financial means, etc. We had no TV, no computers, no video games. Just each other, nature, library books, and the occasional game of tether ball. It was a great way to be a kid and I am grateful for every one of those experiences!
Image credit: petarpaunchev / 123RF Stock Photo
Beth Zimmerman writes about her favorite things, everything from faith to food, from her “generation fabulous” (midlife) perspective! She blogs at www.Masterpiece-Beth.com