Regardless of how crazy our lives get, or how isolated we can be in our own worlds, we do still long for that sense of connection with a community. When I first started camping with my husband, Rusty, I thought it was just about getting away for a weekend. Being those camping weekend warriors. Just packing up and essentially isolating ourselves from the everyday grind.
But I quickly found that the meaning of camping isn’t just about isolating ourselves from our daily life, but it was about connecting with a whole new community. Rusty will often tell stories about how when he comes back from hunting on one of our fall trips, I will know half the campground and have all the details of their lives. I just start up conversations, typically when I am walking the dogs. It is in my nature, I can’t help it!
Our Best Camping Story
Our best camping story though is actually from our tent days. It was the first time I pulled our utility trailer with our big tent on it. Rusty was working nights and couldn’t come down until early on Saturday morning. I had gone down on Thursday with my dad. Well, lo and behold on Friday sitting down by the river we met this group of people. There were about five or six couples with their kids, friends, pets, etc. They get together every year and do this camping trip on Memorial weekend. We just happened to be parked next to them on the gravel bar that year. Of course, between my dad and I, we struck up a conversation and learned that they lived not far from us.
In this particular campground to get a place on the river, you have to get up super early and park your truck in your spot so no one else takes it. One of their guys and I came up with the idea of roping off an area for our two groups because we enjoyed hanging with them. So, Saturday morning at 5 AM just as Rusty was rolling into the campground after a long night at work I was jumping in another guys’ pick up truck with our rope. He was thoroughly confused for a minute until I told him the whole story about how we met this group and that we were roping off our section of the gravel bar.
You Never Know What A Conversation Will Start
That conversation started an almost ten-year relationship with this group. We have known this group for almost ten years now and see them just about every year. We have watched their children grow up, watched them trade up campers and shared many laughs (and beers) with them. When we had camper trouble it was this group that helped us. When there is trouble on the gravel bar, it is this group that backs each other up and when your cooler runs empty it is this group that helps you out. In the last ten years, we have grown from a tent to a bigger tent, to an RV, and finally to our 40-ft Montana. This group has been there for it all!
Camping is more than just getting away from it all, it is about the community that is created. We have found such a good community of people in the many different parks we go to.
That is why you buy a camper – not just to make it easier on you, but to also create that connection you are longing for.