Oh, to be young again. Today when families go camping, there's a lot of stuff involved. Such as cell phones, Wi Fi, laptops, tablets and those little TV DVD players. A family can go camping all weekend without seeing each other.
But there was once a time that camping was a way for a family to go and get back to nature, together. Remember when you were a kid? Your mom was packing all the gear and groceries and stacking everything by the door on Friday so when dad got home from work all you had to do was pack the camper, hook it to the back of the car and you all were off to the "Great Outdoors."
Actually, mom worked harder that weekend than she did at home but who cared? The family was having fun. You played games in the car like counting only red cars along the way. Or seeing how long you and your brother could stare at your sister before she yelled for mom to tell you to stop. Another cool thing to do was to make fart noises in the back seat untill dad was reaching over to slap the crap out of you.
Once there, the trailer was set up. Dad off loaded the Bar-B-Q and began firing it up for dinner. He managed to burn the burgers only a little more than he did at home. After dinner, everyone began roasting marshmellows over the campfire. You laughed as your brother pulled one from the fire, stuck it in his mouth and screamed like a little girl when his gums caught fire.
That night your dad was nowhere to be found and you heard strange animal noises coming from the trees. It was scary untill you saw your brother pee his pants and then you couldn't stop laughing. Finally dad came back after mom yelled out to him, "You can come in now Fred. You made Timmy wet himself!"
Seventeen year old sister Margaret sat at the picnic table all weekend staring at her picture of dreamboat Roger. She told your mother that she could hear Roger's voice. You and your brother made vomit sounds untill she ran both of you off.
Dad rigged the old hammock between two tree and fell out of it at least 6 to 8 times that afternoon. You and your brother went down to the river to do some fishing and he caught his hook in the seat of your pants while casting his line. Your mom had to rub some of that smelly ointment on your backside when your brother sat on a big rock laughing at you. You began to think that he had done the hook on purpose.
The camping trailer wasn't very big so you boys had to sleep on the floor in your sleeping bags and you woke the next morning with your brother's bare foot in your face. You reached over and slapped him in the head and he woke up yelling that a snake had bitten him. Mom was outside cooking breakfast on the little Coleman stove and man, did it smell good? Some bears thought so too and ran all of you back into the trailer while they fought over the bacon and eggs. All of you endded up having bread and butter and some spring water from the icebox for breakfast. Once the bears were gone, everyone came out and began cleaning up the mess that they left. You and Timmy told mom that you were going into the woods to look for arrowheads. After awhile, Timmy had to go to the bathroom. To show you how to do it in the woods, he sat down on a hollowed out log with a big open knott hole and did his thing. Then he grabbed up some leaves to wipe with and pulled up his pants. He looked at you with that big stupid grin and said, "See! I know how to survive in the wilderness. I don't need nobody!" But later that day, he needed mom and that ointment when he found out that those leaves had been poison ivy. He had one big case of butt rash.
Then it began raining and continued the rest of the day and also the next. Everyone was relagated to the trailer and spent the remainder of the trip playing cards. Timmy played standing up.
Once you all got home, dad stuck a "For Sale" sign in the window of the trailer and parked it in the front yard. But all of these years later, when you think back to those times, all you really remember are the good times...and Timmy's butt rash. This blog is dedicated to all of those folks that braved the elements, storms, bugs, wild animals and, yes, fish hooks and scalding marshmellows, just to show their kids a good time...the American family campers. May their trailers roll on.