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The Meaning of Camping

July 20, 2010

Camping is a term that tends to mean many things for many people. For me, camping means the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, eating bread baked over a fire,  apples stuffed with brown sugar and cinnamon, hiking, fishing, and visiting as many campgrounds as possible in whatever time you have. It means changing in my sleeping bag, and hot showers being a luxury not often gotten. Sometimes camping means being cold and wet because the weather doesn’t cooperate, often in just means wind on northern lake shores or mountain sides.

A week ago I got to see what camping meant for my fiance. We went to the same campground that his family had being going to every summer since he was 6. They’ve had the EXACT SAME campsite since ’93. They also have the same camping neighbours most every year. One family’s site has been with them for three generations! I found it so odd when Mike’s dad would comment on how so-and-so has a new car this year, just as if it was their own neighbourhood back home, not the middle of nowhere. Camping to them is 3 weeks of reading on the beach, watching the tide coming in and going out, cooking fresh scallops on the BBQ and taking their dog, Emma, for walks along the surf. It’s just like being at home, except home is now a trailer and  picnic table. It’s so much like being at home for so many people who come to this campsite, that they go so far as to build additions to their sites from drift wood. They build chairs, tables, steps that take them down to the water, even patios jutting out from the campsite above the high tide.  The kids build rafts and spend hours each day playing on them in the water.

I was in awe at a kind of camping where most of the time wasn’t spent taking the tent down and then setting it up again. Camping where there were (mostly) hot showers, where the owner of the campground would stop by and ask if we wanted some fresh scallops today, the way I ask my neighbour at home if they would like some fresh rosemary.

The site, the campground and the whole area were also full of so many memories. Mike was forever pointing out this or that which he remembered or how something had changed since the last time he’d come to the campground at 19.  His childhood lay all around me, embedded in the very rocks I stood on. It was magical, and after 4 years together, I love that I’m still learning things about him. When I watched the kids from the other sites play on the wooden rafts they’d made, I couldn’t help but imagine Mike doing the same thing when he was young.  And for a moment I felt I could see into the future to see our (eventual) children playing in those same waters, build rafts and running on the same beach that we walked on, hand in hand,  just setting out on our life together.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2010 2:00 pm

    What an amazing place to camp and I love the story that accompanies it. Beautiful shot!

  2. July 22, 2010 5:26 am

    What a lovely story! They both sound like excellent ways to camp to me. Thankyou for stopping by my blog with your sweet comment, I’m glad you did as I discovered an new lovely blog to read!

  3. Ashley Erin permalink*
    July 29, 2010 1:23 pm

    Thanks Alexandria!

  4. August 10, 2010 5:40 pm

    ohhhhh wow … my definition of camping is similar to yours but i think i am in love with how you describe your fiance’s camping, it sounds so amazing!! 🙂

  5. Ashley Erin permalink*
    August 12, 2010 8:55 am

    Thanks for the comment Darlene! I too am completely sold on my fiance’s style of camping, it’s so much more relaxing.

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