My family has never officially taken a camping trip together. As a child I was a girl scout and "camped" on occasion; the most memorable being INSIDE a recreation center with running water, a kitchen, and (sometimes) working plumbing. The most camp-like feel to that trip was cooking one meal over a fire outside to earn a badge.
Tents, nevertheless, have been a fascination for my kids since childhood. Who doesn't love the opportunity to cocoon oneself in a homemade or pre-constructed tent, to hide from the world, while telling scary stories, and making inventive flashlight shadow animals on the tent walls?
We graduated from a military looking tannish-green "pup" tent my husband had as a child, to a larger nylon pop-up variety as my kids feet began sticking out of the other...along with their father's. That tent provided space for my daughter to have birthday or summer sleepovers, with her girlfriends packed in like sardines. I can still hear the echoes of the screams and giggles that emanated from the zippered enclosure, or the stage- whispered "shusssshhh"es of the girls ransacking the kitchen for food when they thought I was asleep. Let's face it, who could sleep? No one slept on those nights, but a great deal of fun was had by all.
There was one specific tent that never made it from plans to completion. It was to have been a tepee, constructed from the trunks of small hybrid elms we had removed from our property line. My husband and I fashioned the framework, lashing the poles together into the traditional conical shape, awaiting the sheets to be sewn together by a neighbor child's mother, and then painted as the Native Americans might have done.
Sometimes it really is the journey and not the destination that we remember.
A warm country hug to all,