My mother came from a family of nine children . Her Norwegian parents wanted their children to take a vacation in the summer. For awhile, they spent time with relatives who had also immigrated to the States. But it gradually dawned on them that their relatives were getting tired. Apparently, seeing the large contingent of people driving up to their house was not what they wanted.
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My grandparents finally decided that camping might be the answer. They had to study the what, where, when, and how of camping. Friends and family were very happy to help. They offerred suggestions on destinations, supplies, utensils, and anything that might he work. (I suspect they really wanted it to succeed.}
Over the next 20 years or so (maybe longer) my mother's family always camped at a Northern Minnesota lake. They learned to fish, how to cook in the outdoors, how to build a good campfire and, most importantly, how to have a great time being together.
As a child, my family did camp. It was a very thrifty practice. My parents did save money sleeping in the great outdoors. I remember the canvas tents and army surplus cots my parents used. My brother and I usually slept on blankets on the the cloth floor. My father also bought a used Spartan aluminium trailer. He towed it to a variety of locations. Our favorite, by far, was a State beach park in Carpenteria, California. When I close my eyes I can still hear the sound of ocean waves hitting against the sand.
Following our marriage, my husband and I tried camping but we didn't seem to have as much fun. He had little interest in sleeping in a tent. So we confined our travel to driving cross country and sleeping in the cleanest, but lowest priced, motels we could find. Then we travelled on to the Midwest.
The wonders of camping, while a child, are memorable. There must be people out there that find it a very special.
One of my goals for the summer will be to reinvestigate and learn all the where, when, how, and why people do it.
Maybe their are groups of knowledgeable people who can help. Maybe I'll ask the Boy Scouts.
Lori Blatzheim is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, thrift advocate, and retired nurse. She knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the benefits.