I hate camping. I didn’t always, but over the years I have come to truly loath the entire process.
The beginning of the end must have come when I was six years old. My father was long gone, and my Mom was moving up North where living was less expensive and she could go to school. Finding a place to live was rough, and for a few months we called the campground by the lake home. At the time, I thought it was a lot of fun. We went swimming every night, cooked on a fire, and watched the stars. It wasn’t until I was 30 years old that the facts fell into place and I realized why we lived there.
Since the reality of camping hadn’t sunk in quite yet, and after years of watching my older brothers go off to boy scout camp for half of the summer, I was thrilled to finally be allowed to go to on a camping trip myself. Girls camp through my mother’s church was only one week a year, starting when you turn 12, but it was the only option I had so I embraced it. We swam, learned to tie knots, practiced first aide, read scriptures, and sang stupid camp songs. For five years I went for my one week, adding in extra time my fourth year to go on a three day hike with the other girls my age.
I suppose it is possible that this is what drew me away from camping; as I left church behind me, perhaps everything church related when with it, including camping. Fortunately for me, I married a man who also hated camping, and no one has asked me to sleep in a tent since. Now, I am getting ready to go to camp again.
I’ve been a little quiet about my writing lately. After NaNoWriMo, I had a bit of a writing hangover. I had consumed too much writing in a short time period and I was burnt. Naturally I haven’t given up writing, I just slowed down. A lot.
I needed to recover. I spent the time editing, and writing new outlines, but not trying to write a new story. Now, it is time to start again. April 1st begins the first session of Camp NaNoWriMo, another chance to push my ability to write. This isn’t only about putting words on paper for me, it is about making a commitment. I want to tell my stories, and the only way that will happen is if I commit to myself, commit to my dream, and take action.
This is the first time since I was 12 years old that I am excited to go to camp. I don’t need to sleep outside, or dig a hole to go to the bathroom, but I can tell stories while I look at the stars. Not a bad way to live.