Why I Want a Tent for Christmas

Zoe woke up crying, “Mom, I’m really cold! My hands are really cold!” A pair of Elmo socks on her hands made her warmer and made her laugh, too.

“Sure I want to camp,” Mike said, a funny look on his face. “I’m surprised you want to.”

“What?  I love camping!” I replied.

And I do.  Now, I’m not saying I am in any way rugged, or outdoorsy, or interested in truly roughing it. The camping I love is the kind where you drive to a state park or recreation area, park right next to your camp site, and heat delicious treats over the fire.  I did not borrow a backpacking tent from my outdoorsy friends; I borrowed a two-room tent that’s probably the size of our bedroom.  Air mattresses were involved.  Also pancakes.  Also a fifteen minute drive to Beckville’s picnic grounds on Lake Minnie Belle.

It was the inaugural Beckville Camp Out, and it was a stunning success.

We had 41 people come, some to camp, some to the campfire, and some to the fabulous pancake breakfast.  The youngest participant was one year old; the oldest is in her mid-90s.  We are already talking about doing two camp outs next year.

Wood for the fire.

It was so lovely I don’t even have any wry comments to make. Here are the highlights:

–Quiet conversations and laughter around the campfire.

–Snuggling in our sleeping bags and reading books with Zoe after a good night’s sleep.

–Fruit-filled pancakes for breakfast.  And if I ate six of them, it was because I needed something to combat that morning chill.

–Breakfast prayers by almost-five-year-old Emma (“Let’s pray like we do in church: Our Father, who art in heaven . . .”) and three-year-old Zoe (“My prayer is: Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest . . .”).

–A scavenger hunt for the kids, who paired off (older kid with younger kid) and diligently sought pine cones, yellow flowers, and runty cucumbers from someone’s garden.  No prizes, and no complaints.

–Pontoon boat rides for everyone.

I love that we were able to gather such a crowd (our average weekly worship attendance is about 50, so 41 is huge) with only two weeks notice.  I love that there was room for everyone, from a toddler who’s only been walking for a few months to a nonagenarian who now needs a walker to get around.  I love that this was not my idea, and all I did was borrow a tent and show up.  I love that Zoe’s first camp out was with her parents and 38 people from church.

What a blessing.  What a gift.  Thanks be to God!

Some of the kids showing off their muscles. I did ask.

Do you like to camp?  Tell us a funny camping story, share your favorite campfire recipe, or tell me what kind of camping gear I should put on my wish list.



Filed under Ministry Matters

4 responses to “Why I Want a Tent for Christmas

  1. Susan Latzke

    I was so sad to have missed this I had planned to come out for the bon fire on friday night but got called into work what a bummer ! As for a camping tip for chilly nights, I suggest hot hands warmers get them in the camping or hunting isle of walmart they are great and disposable after the warmth wears off . I buy lots of them during hunting season but they work wonders in the sleeping bag .


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