My husband doesn’t camp. We’ve known that for years. Before getting
married, I spent a weekend camping in the mountains of northern South Korea by a peaceful babbling brook as part of a retreat set up by an Army chaplain. We hiked up a waterfall, climbed up to a Buddhist temple, spent time at a hot springs spa with a young Korean woman who was converting before marrying an American soldier, sat around a campfire together, and had a wonderful time. But stories about sleeping in sleeping bags and using a portable squatty potty made my husband grimace. An accident a few years ago, that left him with rods in his back and a foot, less mobility, and more aches, didn’t improve his attitude either.
Imagine my surprise two weeks ago when I heard my husband calling a local park to reserve a campsite for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Another homeschooling dad had called and suggested a father-son camping weekend. He had two cots so the men didn’t have to sleep on the ground. Somehow he convinced my husband that this could be a good time.
While the boys set up the tent, we women finished cooking and brought Thanksgiving dinner to the campground. Our two families, plus an extra, ate together, played games and watched the kids run around. Then as darkness fell, we left the fathers and sons to their weekend. They biked and chatted, watched birds, played cards and talked. The boys invited another father and son to join them for one of the days and together the three boys convinced some young graffiti artists to remove their artwork and leave the park pristine. They explored the various playgrounds and played variations of tag with other camping kids.
So my husband does camp after all. He and my son would like to set up another camping trip–in a few months, after the work of this weekend and the sore muscles have faded some–with several other homeschooling families, including the women and girls.
Homeschoolers spending days together and planning to do it again, with even more people next time. Guess socializing can occur outside of a school classroom.