Thursday, May 15, 2014

Camping Fun & Why You Should Go


The weather is getting warmer and it's time to find something to do with your family

Why not get outdoors and do some camping?

Whether you pack up a tent, hitch the trailer up, or find a cozy cabin lake side, its all so much fun.

For years, growing up camping by the lake was the only vacations we took and boy do I have some fond memories of those trips.

My Dad loved fishing so it was normal for us to pack almost every weekend and make a trip to our favorite campground at bugs island...also know as Kerr lake. 
I have joked so many times that I was probably conceived on a pic-nick table somewhere at the lake.Forgive me for that, but hey it has to happen somewhere.

I remember when I was very young we didn't even have a tent and we would sleep in the back of the station wagon.It didn't bother my brother and I a bit.We had fun no matter where we slept.Dad also didn't have a boat so he fished from the shore.


We spent the day time swimming and playing by the water.I would try and catch minnows with my hand, make mud castles and take nature walks with Mom.
When my friends or family camped with us, which did happen a lot, I remember us kids getting on the floats and having float fights, playing chicken and we always tried putting 3 people on a one person float.We played many games of Marco polo and all those times trying to outdo each other by counting to see who could hold their breath the longest under water.

Night time came and we always looked forward to a campfire.We would roast hotdogs, and marshmallows.Sometimes a fish fry, but no matter what, there was always a campfire.
Mom and Dad would sit around and tell us stories, if friends came we would sit for hours making up the most stupid ghost stories ever. 
A camp fire was a must for us kids.There is something about putting a stick in that fire, letting it heat up till there is the brightest glow on the end and whirling that stick around in the dark.

As time past we got a tent and a boat. We all started water skiing and tubing.We would spend the entire day out on the boat and of course Mom always packed a lunch to take.
At night time I remember the adults setting up to catfish...Coffee thermoses ready.
We all tucked in the tents in sleeping bags for a good-nights sleep...Well unless it started to rain...That part was never any fun.
I actually remember the worst tent experience of my life...We were camping on SHACKLEFORD ISLAND and a horrible tropical storm came.I remember Dad fighting to keep the tent up, it starting leaking so bad I was terrified with the wind blowing so hard, until finally the tent collapsed with us in it.We all survived and what a story I have to tell my kids and grand-kids.

Morning time when camping is also a memory not soon forgotten. 
Always bacon & eggs on the old Coleman camp stove.There is something about that smell of bacon & eggs cooking at the camp by the water.It cant be duplicated any other place.It seems to taste so much better eating from a regular old paper plate at the pic-nick table.

As the years went by Dad was blessed enough to have his own place at the lake, and a few more lake toys.Now camping is a lot more leisure.No packing up tents and all the gear for our camping trips.I miss those old days of being little and tent camping,but do enjoy getting outside by the lake even now with a little more comfort.I am lucky enough to have been raised camping.I made sure to keep the camping tradition going with my oldest Son when he was growing up.His Dad and I took him on many camping trips before Dad got the lake cabin.My youngest Son has never been camping in a tent hes always had Pappy's cabin to go to,but I still try and do the same fun things we did when in tents.

It really doesn't matter what type of camping you do with your family it only matters that you do it.Its great clean fun.It's great quality time with family.It's simply making good memories.Those times were the best I have from my childhood,and I am so blessed to be able to share new ones with my Sons.

 A few Campfire cooking basics!
The days of eating burnt up hotdogs and fired up black marshmallows are over.I still love a good weenie roast so here are my tips to a great campfire hotdog & marshmallow

 What you skewer your hotdog with really doesn't matter.I have eaten many a hotdog from a stick off the closest tree available.The main thing is not to put it directly into a raging fire as shown in the above picture.This is going to cause your hotdog to get black on the outside and not be cooked on the inside.Hey if you like that then go for it.But if not give the fire a little time to die down a bit.

Best Way
Once your fire has had a little time you will have some nice coals to use for roasting.If you take your time roasting over the hot coals instead of directly in the flame and turning your hotdog, you will have a perfect roasted weenie.If you like your hotdog chard on the outside its no problem,roast it slow then toast it up.Need a good hot dog chili recipe click on this link

This same method goes for marshmallows.I always had trouble with catching them on fire when I was a kid.
You know those flaming balls of marshmallows that can send somebody to the hospital..LOL..Yeah you know the ones.Oh and then how about getting up in the dark to go use the bathroom - or nearest tree and step into a sticky marshmallow...Yes been there done that.
My Uncle Cecil is the one who taught me once, while camping how to toast the perfect marshmallow.Uncle Cecil passed away several months ago. You have no idea how I will always cherish this memory and now even when he is gone I can always tell my children & grandchildren,Uncle Cecil taught me how to toast the perfect marshmallow.

Ready to see how I do it?
 Start toasting over the coals,not the flame.Make sure if for any reason your marshmallows were frozen that you let them thaw before toasting

 This isn't a fast process.To have a really good toasted marshmallow you need to turn constantly getting all sides.It takes a little more time but it is well worth it once you take the first bite.

 And there you have it, a perfectly toasted marshmallow!
Golden and crisp on the outside sweet,gooey and sticky on the inside.

Links for Kerr Lake camping in NC & VA


  1. urg! My other comment was all about how awesome you post was and that I wanted to adopt your memories of camping because mine aren't as great. Oh well, just believe that it was a beautiful long poetic comment about how awesome this post was. LOL! Have an awesome weekend!

  2. This is awesome just as I remember so much fun and we are still making memories you are such a wonderful daughter I am so glad you are passing this on to your family as Brandon has already started with his family so proud of him and Hilary she is such a wonderful mother

    1. AWE! Thank you Mom.If it were not for you and dad I wouldn't have these wonderful memories or traditions to pass along to my children and grandchildren.Thank you for being such a great mother.Oh and by the way, so happy to see you figured out how to leave comments all by yourself.....You go girl!



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