My First Camping Experience
Preparing for my first camping trip
I went on a school camping trip, which was also my first, at the end of 4th grade. I loved the outdoors and had always wanted to try camping. So when the opportunity came my parents encouraged me to go even though I was a bit concerned about getting homesick since that was the first time I was going to be away from my parents for any significant period of time (it was a 3 day trip).
We were going to camp in the mountains which would be quite cool during the night, so we had to bring a jacket and a blanket. Although meals would be provided, we needed to bring some ready to eat snacks like beef jerky, chips, etc.
A few days before the camping trip I caught a cold. I was worried that I might have to cancel the trip as some people told me my cold could get worse. But my doctor said it was OK for me to go since I didn't have a fever. I just would have to blow my nose a lot more (your nose tends to run in cold weather to begin with). Wow, that would be fun, I thought. For some reason as a kid I thought blowing my nose was kind of fun. But I digress :)
We started bright and early on the day of the trip. My mom took me to the school at 6 AM. I don't remember how many of us there were but we all fit in one bus. After attending a short briefing we left for the campsite.
The campsite was near a tourist mountain resort which was about 2 hours' drive from the city. I loved the mountains because of the fresh air and beautiful scenery, so this camping trip was really exciting.
The campground was grassy for the most part, and there was a nearby stream. But we weren't allowed to swim in it as the current was quite strong. The scenery was breathtaking. On a clear day we could see the city down on the horizon.
Although we didn't have to walk very far from the bus to the campsite, I believe it would be considered a primitive campsite as there was no modern amenities like electricity, flush toilets or showers. Everything was so... natural!
It took a bit of getting used to but it taught the kids a good lesson of appreciating and respecting nature and the environment. For me it was actually fun. To add to my joy, I got to go barefoot as many of the other kids did, especially during the day when the temperature was quite warm.
There were 4-person tents already put up when we arrived. The boys' tents were gray or brown, but the girls' were more colorful. I thought they looked more attractive but they were not as sturdy according to one of the teachers.
The camping experience
We engaged in all kinds of fun activities during the 3 days like treasure hunting, a short hiking expedition, ball games, and story telling. My favorite was the campfire. To me that was the highlight of the camping trip.
Except for when we went hiking, I stayed barefoot the entire time even at night when it got a little chilly. One of the teachers was concerned especially because I was having the sniffles. He told me to put shoes on but I told him I was fine, and he left me alone.
The second night we had a rainstorm with lightning and thunder. It was quite scary, and we all huddled in our tents. Our tent was leaking a little. The next morning we found out that the girls' tents were leaking even worse but luckily none was damaged too badly, and they got them fixed in no time.
As much fun as we were having at the campsite, I did get a little homesick, and by the third day I was actually ready to go back home and see my parents. Many of the other kids were getting homesick as well, and a couple of the teachers teased us saying that due to the weather we had to postpone our trip home for a couple of days. Some of us actually believed them, haha!
So my first camping trip ended as the bus pulled into the school parking lot. I was happy to see my mom there waiting for me.
There are many types of camping. Mountain camping, beach camping, wilderness camping, primitive camping, etc. Which is your favorite? Or perhaps camping is not your thing? Share your thoughts or just let me know you came to visit.