Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How Camping is Like School

Our little family went to our annual church campout this August at Ft. Stevens state park on the coast. I personally LOVE this campground. I’ve been coming here for various church related camping activities since I was very small and, although it’s almost always rainy, there is always lots to do (provided one has decent walking shoes or a bike to get anywhere).

But here are the things I learned this year:


Fingernail polish painted on mosquito bites will take the sting away because it creates a seal over the bite that deprives it of air, thus eliminating the itch. I thought this sounded great, but after I painted three pretty little glittery dots on my calf I realized this theory was baloney. They still itched. But at least they looked pretty!

No matter how hot the sun is or how long you are out in it, SPF 30 sunscreen will last. The weather on the beach on Friday was honestly the best I’d ever seen: warm and sunny and just a touch of wind and we were out in it all day without getting the slightest sunburn. Well, except for a little patch on the back of my neck that I couldn’t reach and therefore attested to what WOULD have happened to us all without that amazing SPF 30.


No matter how many marshmallows you personally bring to the campfire and manage to eat, you will inevitably bring home three more bags than you started with.  I don’t know why this is true, but it must be because I have the evidence in my pantry.


Spiders don’t just live at your house. They also live in your tent at the beach where they know you don’t have adequate tools to fight them.

Also, the doe and fawn that have created the little path behind your campsite will visit frequently and have no fear of you or your long, intimidating group gawking.

And if a marine mammal decides to make a man-made object it’s home of choice, the park service will put up caution tape all around the area to keep man away from his objects and give it to the mammal as a gesture of good will.


I’ve lived in Oregon all my life and for some reason JUST NOW realized that the little northwest tip of Oregon is not, in fact, occupied by Astoria as I was always led to believe, but instead that entire area is Ft. Stevens State Park. Who knew? Astoria is inland on the COLUMBIA RIVER and should never even be mentioned in the same sentence with ‘coast’ since it DOESN’T HAVE ONE. How did I not know this all this time?


Riding a bike that terrifies you is a great way to exercise your vocal chords for later in life. Little Girl rode her Allycat that attaches to the back of Daddy’s bike (and is actually perfectly safe) whenever we went anywhere that weekend, and screamed and screeched the entire time. It was easy to know where we were because you could hear her coming and going every time. But despite her pleas to the contrary we made her ride it anyway. It should build character, right?


Paddling a kayak is actually a lot easier to learn than I thought it was. I didn’t tip over and I only ran into my kayaking partner once! Wow, a water sport that I can master! My new favorite hobby!

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