Camping catastrophe 

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A crow stands on a dirt road in front of a grassy lawn.
Standing at attention, watching for the next shiny to swipe. winterknight1979 via Flickr

How Summer the non-camper found the inspiration to pull off her trip

creative writing special feature

Hi, everyone. My name is Summer, and I want to tell you the ultimate camping story. It all started off with a girl named Summer. Yes, that’s me.  

Ever since I was a girl, other people always bugged me because my name is Summer. Quite honestly, I hated that time of the year. I hated the way the sun shined so bright and hot, how the days lasted longer. I hated the bugs, how the birds loudly chirped, and the list goes on. Well, now that I am getting older, I decided I would challenge myself to take on the ultimate camping trip.  

One long weekend about three years ago, I went on my very first camping trip. Let me tell you, it did not get off to a great start. I had never been camping before, so I had no idea what I needed or what I was in for. I started off with some old, essential equipment from my father, and I thought that would do the trick. I packed a tent, an axe, a cooler of food, water, an air mattress, and a pump. In my mind, what else could I need?  

That day I packed up and went off. I booked a campsite just outside of my town about two hours away and blasted some music in my car – there was no turning back now! 2 hours, 60 songs, and 2 podcasts later, I arrived at my campsite, and it was time to set up camp. 

 I started setting up camp by setting up my tent. Have you ever set up a tent by yourself before? I do not recommend it! It started out with old instructions that were ripped and had most of the ink worn out. Great start…thanks, Dad.  

So, I gave it my best try, and after about 45 minutes of trying to set up a tent, I had figured out the problem. I was missing a pole; and not just any pole, one of the main poles that holds up the middle of the tent. Only half the tent would stay up, so that side is where I set up my air mattress – thank God that went smoothly. After it was set up, I tried to lay down on my air mattress, and as I laid down – FLOP! The ground underneath it was uneven, and I banged my head on the ground while my feet flew up in the air. That was the last straw, so it was time to have supper.  

I got my food together and gathered some cooking supplies. Just as I thought I had everything to start a fire, I realized I had forgotten paper and a lighter. This camping trip was not going swell. This is why I hate summer!  

At this point, I decided I was going to get firewood and simply ask the campers around me to borrow paper and a lighter. So, there I went for a drive to go find firewood. As I was driving to find the closest service location, something hit my car with a BAM! “What the heck was that?” I thought to myself as I got out of my car. 

I had hit a crow. There it was, just laying on the hood of my car. I felt terrible. I carefully picked it up off my car with some twigs and took it to the side of the road to let it rest in peace. I went back to my car, and as I drove to get firewood, ideas started to hit me as hard as the crow had. 

As I gathered firewood, some magical things started to come to my mind. I thought to myself, “If I can find a long, skinny, and bendy enough stick, I can use it as a pole for my tent. From that same stick I can use the leaves to start the fire, and lastly, I can use a flat rock from around the fire pit to make the ground nice and level for my bed, so I don’t smack my head.”  

Once I had the fire started, I cooked my food and enjoyed it. Then, I went for a nice walk in the evening, laid down on the boating dock and stared up at the night sky. I thought to myself and realized that summer isn’t all that bad. Years later, camping is now one of my favourite activities – all thanks to the inspiration that hit me after I hit that poor crow.  

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