Posted by: Laura A. H. Elliott | April 6, 2010

Your First Camping Trip

What do you remember about your first camping trip?



  1. I can tell you what I don’t remember. My parents used to drive a VW bug and there was a little well behind the back seat and the rear window where a back dashboard should be. As an infant, I fit in the well quite neatly and it was my substitute crib on camping trips, I’m told. Of course, I was too young to remember.

    I also don’t remember where my dad was most of the time. Most of my camping memories are with my mom and my brother (at the Indiana Dunes). I’m sure my dad must have been there because we had a giant canvas tent that we all shared and it was too heavy for my mom to put up herself.

    My dad was a drinker until I turned eleven. Maybe “drunk” is the better word but I don’t remember what he was like then. Which is why I probably don’t remember when he was around and when he wasn’t. I think when he was drinking, he just sort of faded from view. I know he camped with us sometimes, I just don’t remember.

    When my brother and I got older, we got a tent that the two of us shared while my mom (and sometimes dad) camped in the ancient canvas tent. It was on one of these camping trips I was abducted. (True story!) It was a brief incident but frightening, particularly for my mom. (I’m almost positve my dad wasn’t on this trip.)

    My brother and I had been to the shower building but we walked back separately. A group of teens were feeling like trouble and thought they would try to scare the shit out of me. I apparently wouldn’t give them the satisfaction because they quickly became bored with me.

    “Quickly” is a relative term because it was probably an eternity for my mom. The kids had taken my towel and placed it around my neck and marched me to some place in the forest and told me they were going to kill me. It was apparent that they weren’t but they kept telling me that because they wanted to make me cry. (This, they told me.) They probably made other threats, none of which I remember now except they were smoking and they tried to make me smoke, too.

    I have no idea how much time passed before they let me go. The Ranger had been called and my mom was frantic. Remarkably, I don’t remember being afraid.

    Yet another thing I don’t remember about camping.

    I don’t tent-camp anymore.

    • OMG, Lynn! Abducted? Really? My heart was racing reading your post. And I love the fact that you were “too boring” so not only did the teens not “kill you” but also brought you back to your tent. Hmmmm. Your poor mom! Yikes. chilling, truly. Somehow thinking of a little baby all snuggled into the console of the VW van is kinda cute. I’m so sorry about your dad. That’s tough. Really tough. Although, like you said, I’m sure he was around ’cause I know that those canvas tents are tricky to put up all by your lonesome.

      You’ll have to stay tuned. I think I’m going to write this week’s story in answer to this question. And you’ll have to weigh in if it’s fact or fiction.

      Thanks for sharing! Wow. How incredibly spooky for you. Were you in junior high?

  2. I think I was younger. That was back in the day when you didn’t worry about letting your kids walk to the shower house by themselves. Bro and I were little – too little nowadays to let out of your sight, I imagine.

  3. Those were the days! Great story, Lynn. You have a gift:)

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