Northeast North Carolina Family History – Camping… -- By Irene Hampton

Last month, my husband and I returned from a visit to a camp in central North Carolina where a group of girls from our church were camping for a week.
Remember the week where the weather forecasters were stating that it hadn’t been this hot for four years. And the humidity kept getting the “when it’s this high it’s tropical” comment! Well that‘s the week these brave souls were hanging out in tents. No air conditioning, a random snake nicknamed “Bob,” and a lot of fun activities involving water and lots of it. I did manage to return with a least one itchy chigger bite which was surprising as my husband is usually the chigger magnet. All that, especially the bug bite, reminded me of camping with my family.
We never took a vacation to a resort, well we did live in one year round, in the Canadian Rockies, but no Disneyland or theme parks for us. No, when we went on vacation, we camped. Back before the days of seat belt laws, my parents would pack up a three room tent – yes, a three room tent, which travelled in the back seat and we kids rode on top of it. And everything else needed for six people fit in around it. We would drive to the Okanagan area of British Columbia and everything would get unloaded and the tent (did I mention it was three rooms) would get set up. Finally we had shelter and invariably when I threw myself down in the room my sister and I shared, I would get stung by whatever stinging creature was available.
I don’t remember how many years we did this, but I know it seemed like forever. I remember one of my mother’s favorite comments was from a man who watched them pack everything up and get it and us in the car. He shook his head and said he was waiting to see if it could all (remember the three room tent) fit in our car. He was impressed when it did. If you’ve missed my ambivalence, I was a lot less impressed with camping than he was. So of course I married someone who enjoys camping and raised two sons who attended Boy Scout camp every summer. My husband was a Scoutmaster at various times and when he was, his troop camped at least once a month. When our boys needed an extra campout for a rank advancement, off they’d all go, thankfully leaving me behind. One of his favorite trips was a 60 mile canoe trip down the James River in Virginia with our oldest son. Our youngest son has introduced his fiancé to camping both in the winter snow and more recently, mountain summer. She posted a beautiful sunrise shot of the entire group in hammocks
swinging between trees with a mountain meadow in the background with the comment she was really starting to like this outdoor “thing.” Oh well.
All this begs the question, what did the family of your youth do for summer vacation? Were they fun or were they disasters? Or maybe something in between? What stories could you share that would help your current family come to appreciate their ancestors better? I can’t help but remember the times in the car with my children when our youngest would complain that his older brother was “looking at him.” I still use that to gently tease him, on occasion – I’m not sure if it’s a favorite memory for him, but it still amuses me. I hope you’ll take the time to relive and share some of those vacation memories and plan to create more in the future.

Next month, October, is Family History Month. Set a goal to gather and be ready to share some memories (vacation or otherwise) with family members.
Northeast North Carolina Family History – Camping… -- By Irene Hampton Northeast North Carolina Family History – Camping…  -- By Irene Hampton Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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