The summer is filled with lazy days, family vacation, and sleeping in. One thing I have learned to embrace as an adult during the summer is camping. As a child did you go camping with your family during the summer?
When I was in elementary school, my father planned a family camping trip as a surprise. After this trip, I don’t know if he had ever gone tent camping but I do know my mother hadn’t. Being born in England, her and her family didn’t seem like the camping “type”. Trips to the beach and “Holiday Camps”, such as Butlins, is what my mother was use to. These holiday camps during the 1950s and 1960s were a place where families would be placed in hotel-like sleeping quarters and during the day the facility would provide various activities to do with the children or as a family.
So, when my father drove up to our private cabin to stay for the weekend we all had no idea what to expect. When we opened the door to the, clearly abandoned for a while, cabin it was like a scene from a movie. There was rotting food on the tables, debris everywhere, and it looked better on the outside than the inside. We all decided pitching a tent would be better. Hungry with no food, we decided to get food from the fruit stand that we saw down the road. In the meantime, my father tried pitching a 20 man military tent by himself that he picked up on the cheap at the local military surplus on base.
There was no success in pitching the tent into the rocky terrain, so by dark my mother, sisters, and I ventured into the cabin and slept in our sleeping bags on the floor. I remember hearing terrible noises in the night, including the screams from my mother when a mouse scurried across her body. Ha! We woke up with the view above our heads – a large bee-hive was pitched directly above where we were sleeping! Needless to say we never went camping again.
When I married my husband, he was shocked to hear that we didn’t do traditional summer camping trips as a family. His best memories have been camping in the woods with his entire family. Every year we have tried to get out with our family and make an adventure.
I have a different view of camping now. I think of it like an adventure. Camping brings out the best and worst in people. I remember reading somewhere that if you are engaged and want to know if your partner is compatible to go camping with them first. Ha! I think it is true. Making good memories is the most important part of spending time outdoors.
This sweet teepee by We R Memory Keepers was given a vintage make-over this week and I have to say, I would pitch this anywhere to spend a quiet summer evening. (See the link for the “before” below.) After layering and clipping vintage linens on top, creating a relaxing place inside wasn’t hard. Just add blankets and pillows for lots of snuggle time.
When my daughter saw the pillows she couldn’t wait to get inside. She just kept on asking, “Can I have a go? Please Mama?” I don’t blame her, it just calls out “Nap time!” Ha! This beautiful wooden sign by While They Nap Creations set the tone of the entire look. Don’t you think?!
I created a fun “dream catcher” using an embroidery hoop, vintage crochet placed inside, and Heidi’s Muslin Tassels from her Gallery Wall Collection. Spraying them with Color Shine gave them that “dipped” look.
Lastly, this Camp marquee can be created for your own family’s vacation, family reunion, church camp event, or more! I gave each letter a “rust” distressed look. You can see how I did it right here with this tutorial. To customize the inside, I used the Rust Paper Decorative Roll. One roll did all four letters – it was so easy! Letters C and P do not stand on their own, so a great tip is to use clothes pins in the back to pin them to the next letter. They will stand up as a whole word this way. You could, if you wanted, glue the entire word together. I just like the idea of being about to store them separate.
The definition of an adventure is “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” Camping is just like that (ha!) building memories and experiences that you will always remember!