I hate the outdoors, I cry upon seeing bugs, and water below 85 degrees is considered freezing in my book. My two experiences with camping came at a young age. The first was a true campout on Redondo Beach with my Girl Scout Troop. One night of absolute disgust and soggy clothes mixed with sand made me quit the next day. Good-bye troop. The second, was a forced campout with my parental unit, and their friends. It snowed in the California Redwoods, in July. I headed into my tent and would not come out due to the bitter cold. At all. I was in true protest mode that was so obviously terrifying that all the ladies of the group went to a hotel. It was then that hotels are a girls true guide to camping. Let the men have the tents and the earthly experience. Not for me. Hotels or the later resorts in wooded areas with a casual hike and good wine were my forever fuure camping experiences, in fact I made it known to my then fiancé and thus we created the no camping pact shortly before we walked down the aisle with the caveat that I had to get acquainted with Neebish Island and eventually, someday in the far future go to the magical camp which my hubs painted like a Norman Rockwell meets Indian Tribe in the forest moment coupled with fantastic outdoor extravaganzas for all. Camp, here I come. Someday.

In the beginning, it was easy as a married couple to not visit. We were busy in our very exciting SF city lives. My camp was Napa. Enough said. His camp would wait. He was patient. I was stalling and panicked that any summer our camp trip conversation would not end with the sounds of corks or clinging glasses.

Soon after our bundle of joy came along, camp was calling but still not for me. Between moving and settling in our new home in the sunny and mosquitoe free state of Arizona but it was coming and I knew there was no turning back…

Our first trip was directly after our sons first birthday. It was a difficult year filled with specialists, hospitals, and tears. Camp was supposed to lessen the stressors. It did. Not in the way of an average vacation filled with umbrella drinks and sandy beaches, but it did. Maybe it was the water or the freighters rolling by one after another with the sounds of the salutes hanging in the summer air, or perhaps none of this. The memories made that year and beyond in our small island life are memories I will cherish.

Years later, our camp still has bugs and leaky things, no quick access to anything but it is now my adopted home. Year after year along with my original little Neebish yoopers plus our newest member of the yooper club we always make the trip…

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