Recently our ward announced a “ward campout”. I was immediately excited – the thought of camping with a group of people I really love sounded like so much fun. Then I was quickly reminded that we aren’t big fans of camping.

But with this group of people it would be so much fun.

But we don’t even own a tent, or anything else for that matter.

But spending time around the campfire is priceless.

But Bennett would be a nightmare.

But the older kids are at the perfect ages and their friends are going.

But, but, but…

As you can – we wavered back and forth for quite some time. Some days we honestly believed we would be there and others, there wasn’t a chance you would find us there.

I decided the weather would make our final decision…cold and rainy (surprising for Arizona, I know). That sealed our camping fate. We would not be in attendance and we were okay with that.

But the weather ended up being a big deal for several families, so they moved the campout closer to home so the weather would be warmer with clear skies.

The argument for and against the campout once again took place in our heads. In all reality we really do want to be the camping-type family (and we have enjoyed some great campouts with friends in the past), but let’s be serious, there is no sense in shoving a square peg into a round hole. We’re just not campers, perhaps it’s our stage of life and perhaps it’s not. Either way, I’m okay with it. But we still wanted to be apart of the group, so we just came up in the afternoon, stayed late and returned home to the comfort of our own beds. That is our type of “camping”.

I’ve never camped in an area with so much dirt and so little grass. Very different from our experience in the luscious green state of Wisconsin, but beautiful still.

Hunter and Hallie were in dirt heaven with all their friends.

One thing that was far from traditional camping – the gourmet dinner that was prepared. BBQ ribs, homemade baked beans, tortellini salad, rolls with homemade cobbler. It almost convinced us that camping isn’t so bad!

We spent a good amount of time protecting this little one from the dangers of a campground…multiplied by 20 because of all the cactus in the campground!!

I’m happy to report Bennett came away without stitches or any major cuts or gashes. I on the other hand fell into a cactus trying to protect him. Not just any cactus, but a jumping cactus (jumping cholla). My right hand, arm/shoulder (covered by my sweatshirt), back and shoes were covered in needles that were extremely difficult to remove. According to Wiki, “Cholla’s have hollow spines. Because they are hollow they can easily attach to whatever they touch with their needle like sharpness. If there is moisture, such as with skin, the tips actually curve once they have made contact, locking their spines in place just underneath the skins top layer.” Steve carefully pulled each section from my body as I hollered out in pain. My arm went numb and I felt nauseous and tired as a rash started forming on my arm. I can’t imagine if that would’ve happend to Bennett. Stupid cactus. What campground keeps a cactus 3 feet from the fire pit anyway. I hate cactus.

We stuck around just long enough to enjoy a couple s’mores before we headed home and enjoyed a nice peaceful rest in our beds.

Camping trip 2012 – success. If you can call it a camping trip…