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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)

TITLE: My First Camping Experience at the age of Seven or Eight
By Alyssa Colby


It was a crisp summer morning by the lake in Michigan. I awoke, alone in the tiny pop-up camper; everyone else had gotten up and was outside by our campground picnic table. I snuggled into my flannel-lined sleeping bag and thought that I had never been so cozy in all my life. I closed my eyes again. In the sleeping bag it was warm as toast. Toast. Daddy was making toast outside on our little Coleman stove. The smell was tantalizing, and I realized how hungry I was. I didn’t want to be toasty anymore; I wanted to eat toast! I climbed down out of my warm sleeping bag and walked outside. Mommy, Daddy and Jonathan were getting breakfast ready. The little brothers were playing.

“Good morning” said Daddy, who was bending over the tiny green stove. “Did you have a good night’s sleep?”

“Yeah” I said sleepily, gazing around at the other campers and at the tantalizing toast.

“Help get breakfast ready.” Mommy said.

We ate our breakfast at the picnic table. That morning we would be leaving the campground, after only one night there. It had been a lovely time (in spite of walking in the dark to the big cement bathrooms, brushing our teeth before dingy mirrors under bright neon lights; walking back; trying to be clean. The leaves and sand stuck to our feet.) We had arrived at the camp-ground just the evening before, towing the pop-up with our blue Chevy station wagon. Our supper had been hobo pies, made with hamburger and potatoes bought at a grocery store along the way, wrapped in aluminum foil, and cooked on the little stove. Food had never tasted so good, eaten outside in the cool summer evening. We’d walked beside the lake at sunset - wading in the clear water, gathering all kinds of colorful stones and pebbles and watching the geese on the lake. It was a beautiful place, sandy and populated with towering oak trees and swarming with scampering squirrels.

As we drove out of the campground that morning, we looked longingly back keeping an eye out for squirrels. It had been our first ever camping experience together, and now we were going home to Grandma’s. Goodbye lake; goodbye trees and squirrels. Goodbye big damp bathrooms. Goodbye campground.

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This article has been read 717 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debra Bowers07/19/05
What a delightful story!
A child's eyes are so simple and pure. You have captured a beautiful memory!
Phyllis Inniss 07/20/05
You were old enough to appreciate and remember certain sights and sounds and young enough to get the most pleasure out of everything. Nicely told childhood experience.
Shari Armstrong 07/22/05
A nice memory, good images. Well written.
Val Clark07/24/05
You have a great way of describing what you saw.
dub W07/24/05
Lots of good description in this tight memory article. Thanks.
Michelle Burkhardt07/24/05
Great description. Our RV has been out of commission and your details want me to jump in and go now! Nice job. I would only suggest a more creative title.
Suzanne R07/25/05
Good job, Alyssa. I like the way you clearly present it as a child's memories, through the use of 'Mommy' and 'Daddy', and your final few sentences, "Goodbye lake; goodbye trees and squirrels. Goodbye big damp bathrooms. Goodbye campground." Beautiful memories. Well done.