This year our ward did a Fathers and Sons campout in the mountains outside Fairview, Utah. Given that camping isn’t my favorite thing, and given the fact that we had recently been camping, I wasn’t really thrilled about going; however, Sam was looking forward to it and I certainly have fond memories of going to Fathers and Sons campout with my dad when I was a boy so I wanted him to have those same memories. It’s odd how something that seemed so much fun when I was a kid doesn’t seem all that much fun anymore when I’m an adult. In our family we call those type of things “corner window” experiences – in honor of Grandpa Kent.
The plan was for each family to cook their own dinner while the ward would supply breakfast. I kind of enjoyed cooking with the dutch oven when we were camping so I thought I would give it another try. This time I planned to cook up some hot dogs and baked beans. When we got to the campground, I noticed all the other dads had brought KFC, Chick-Fil-A, Subway sandwiches and potato chips. I felt like a dork as I spent an hour cooking dinner while everyone else ate their pre-made dinners and ran off to play on the zip-line. In the end, my dutch oven pork and beans were a total flop. They took forever to cook so we ended up eating in the dark, they had no taste – very bland, and Sam ate his fill of everyone’s left over potato chips before dinner was even ready. Oh well, lesson learned. Next time it’s Chick-Fil-A and potato chips for us.
Sam’s favorite thing on the campout was riding the zip-line. All the boys lined up and took turns. They zipped over and over again until it was too dark to see and the missionary couple that runs the campground shut down the zipline for the night.
My favorite thing about the campout was teasing Sam about the bears. There were signs all over warning that it was bear country and to be careful about leaving food out. Sam took this to heart and was very concerned about bears in the night. I had brought a tent in case Sam wanted to sleep in it but he was too concerned about bears ripping up the tent so we slept in the back of the minivan (which I prefer anyway). He was also concerned that bears would break into the car to eat us. He thought that maybe after dark we should just head home instead of risking the possibility of encountering a bear at the campground. I told him a bear wouldn’t attack us in the car when there were so many other guys in tents that were easier pickings. That seemed to satisfy him.
In the end we didn’t see a bear but we did see a deer walk right through the middle of our camp: