Arkansas Campers

As I hear about the campers killed in the Arkansas flash flood, immediately my heart was heavy with sadness. As a camper, you know first hand what it’s like to be sleeping peacefully in your camper. You sat around the campfire and made s’mores and roasted hot dogs. The kids are tucked and tired from a day of running and playing. But then, you are aroused in the early morning to complete chaos.

As a mother of four, I can see those mothers (and fathers) yelling for their children. Crying out for help. Crying out to God. Fighting with all their might to protect their babies. I can’t even form words to describe how much this news hurt me to my very being.

CBS News has a video where reporter, Chris Wragge, interviews Joel Hinton. Joel is a camper who “happened*” to be awake and saw the rising waters. He immediately helped other campers to safety. Joel said “My wife is a person of deep spiritual belief.” He went on to say that his wife asked what they should do. He responded, “There’s only one thing you can do and that’s probably to pray.” He shared that his wife always prays that God protect their home. The water stopped 1.5 inches from the floor of their camper. Praise God!

Unfortunately, there are individuals who find pleasure in the pain of others. You can go to any news sites and find horrible comments posted by sick individuals. What has happened to person where they have no compassion for the loss of life? It’s not just the Arkansas flooding, but in every bad event. I’m learning that there will always be a cold-hearted human who will mock, taunt, disrespect, and curse the victim. It’s the time we live in.

Continue to pray that the survivors of this tragedy find comfort in the God who is mighty and able to do all things and in his son, Jesus Christ.

* As a believer, I believe he was predestined to be where he was to do what was needed. When you find yourself in the right place – at the right time, thank God for his mighty hand that leads and guides you.

Finding a Home

I was talking to a fellow mommy about my daughter’s upcoming birthday party when the conversation turned to one of my favorite subjects, camping. Fellow-mommy shared they have a seasonal site at a nearby campground. I immediately started my questions. What made you decide to go seasonal? How did you decide on a campground? How often do you drive out to the site?

Fellow-mommy says they had been camping a long time. I think she said nearly 8 years. So here I am in my eleventh year of camping and I have no idea where I would like to be seasonal. I don’t know what it is. I think I may miss out on something. I still like traveling and I want to drive cross-country one day!

While writing this post, Will and I started talking about what would need to happen for us to become seasonal. As in real estate, the first three things you learn about in the business is location, location, location. The question is, does that apply to camping? You can have a great location and bad neighbors. Or you can find great neighbors but it’s a bad location. Right now, I haven’t found a location that feels like home or neighbors that make me forget about the location.

The drive is part of camping.

The price is another factor. With any seasonal location, what do you really get besides the site? Is there amenities exclusive to members? Are there special member-only events? Are day and overnight visitors free? Will the owners get to know me and my family or will I be another expected check in the mail?

Some people decide to become seasonal to avoid packing prep before each trip. I don’t mind the prep work. Our RV has most of it’s own supplies. All that’s left for us to get is sleeping bags for the kids. Yes, we’ve been camping all these years and they do not have sleeping bags. All other necessities are stored in the RV, carpets, cookware, towels, soap, etc.

To ease my perceived frustration around the seasonal versus non-seasonal dilemma, I Googled campgrounds in Western New York and found some places I’ve not looked into. So I have some visiting to do. I guess that means we’re not ready to be seasonal members. What about you?

2010 Memorial Day Weekend

Shawnice Cooling Off in the Master BedroomThe first camping adventure of 2010 was a blast. The weather was a wonderful 84+ degrees each day which allowed the children to swim several times a day. Sun screen was a must-have that weekend.

Frost Ridge, formerly known as Lei-Ti, is in it’s second year of new management. The changes to the campground are noticeable. The bathrooms were remodeled and a laundry facility is being built.

The camp sites were clean, but could have used a little raking after the grass was cut. And, the schedule of activities could have been better. The comfy lounge was great and served as a safe place for teens to hangout during the evenings.

It was fun to see the campground get involved in the wet-n-wild wagon ride on Saturday. Sites where there were no children had spray guns and buckets of water ready and waiting. Imagine, an hour of screaming and yelling. It was great. A rematch was scheduled for Sunday.

As with previous years, the campground was packed and children were everywhere. There were two nights of live music. The live bands played mostly country music. I asked myself several times why the live bands at campgrounds mainly country bands. It’s one thing to be the only black family at a campground, but to have to listen to songs about living in a hick town and being a red-neck is a bit too much for me.

The Morgan TwinsLuckily, the Morgan Twins from the second season of American Idol, honored us with a great rendition of Fallin’ by Alicia Keys.

I was not thrilled the campground was open to the public for the music. There was a lot of drinking, smoking, and partying. That led to the need to keep the kids close by and I started thinking about changing our Memorial Day camping spot. A plus was the campground made sure the partying was done right when the curfew began.

We ended each night around the campfire with s’mores and hot dogs. You can see photos from this trip here.

Overall, I do recommend this campground!

Feel free to share your camping experiences with us! Use the comment section below.