30 Years of Family, Tents, and Babies

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I’m excited to participate in my first ever link-up orchestrated by The Life of Bon! Technically, it’s Throwback Thursday, but since I only just got started, my first Throwback Thursday is a little late (read: on Monday). This week’s topic: “Memory of one or both of your parents from childhood.”

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The last weekend of July each year, my family gets together and goes camping. This year we celebrated the 30th annual Family Camp.

Now, when I say “my family,” I don’t just mean a small group with my parents, siblings, and myself – I’m talking the whole extended family from my grandparents down to my second cousins. In years with a light turnout, we generally have around 30 people.

Over the years, we’ve really nailed down the group camping thing. Everyone is assigned certain foodstuffs to bring for our group meals and we cook remarkable breakfasts (bacon, eggs, pancakes, potatoes, fresh fruit, and even real espresso), drink a lot of beer all day long, and hand-crank homemade ice cream.

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One important Family Camp tradition is the re-telling of certain stories. There was the year with 5 kids under the age of 5 and the debate over how high the dust rose. Another year in the pizza parlor on our way home when my brother took his first steps and hid himself under a nearby table.

And then there are the Family Camp Babies.

One cousin and I have the oh-so-wonderful experience of listening to the tales of our conception every single year. This year we took the time to identify which year of Family Camp we were each conceived (the 2nd and 3rd years respectively, if you were wondering).

The year I was conceived, my parents arrived at the campground after dark (with 4 little boys, you tend to show up late to almost everything) and set up the tent in the first open space they found. That night, I was conceived.

The next morning, however, the whole crew woke up to discover the tent had been set up on an ant hill! They were all a bit swarmed and had to move the tent. It is my (unscientific) belief that my barely-conceived self registered that freaked out feeling and decided to lock it away for my future of being unreasonably terrified of ants.

So thanks, Mom and Dad. For conceiving me in such a memorable time and place (and for providing me with my first ever phobia).

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