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In My Sights: Animal urges in the outdoors not always an educational plus for children

Things are revving up around our house, sort of like the bees warming up in the hive for the summer. Camp gear is strewn all across the living room as we inventory the damage, because wear and tear is this family’s middle name; strung on the stairs as we check for mildew, because I’m willing to bet someone put up a tent fly or something equally important while it was wet; and laid out on the beds just to see what new gadgets and gear we want to add for the year. There’s always “just one more thing.” For awhile there was even a trolling motor and a kayak in the living room. And yes, hubby was considering putting those two items together. I have to monitor the home scene very, very carefully.

I’m also reviewing some camp etiquette with the youngest child and some of her friends. Past years of camping have taught me that people become, well, more animalistic when they’re in the great outdoors. Although, I’ll be the first to admit my daughter and her friends can be pretty animal-like at the best of times.

No, it’s more like I’m reviewing camp etiquette for their protection and my peace of mind. On our first outing of the summer last year, my sweet child came running up to mid-afternoon, wide-eyed, and in a panicked voice said, “Mommy, we have to help her!”

Take me fishing, but don't expose me to adults who don't know how to behave in the outdoors. Photo courtesy of Take Me Fishing.

Unfortunately, the “her” my daughter wanted to help was moaning loudly in the tent at the next campsite over. She and her companion had answered the call of the wild quite regularly since their arrival, and the moans were becoming progressively louder and, shall we say, more expressive each time.  I was pretty certain it was not a tooth-ache causing her vocalizations. After being put in the uncomfortable position of trying to explain this to my 11-year old, the next time it started I threw a rock at their tent and yelled, “HEY! There’s kids out here! Keep it down!” It worked for a while.

I heartily endorse that there is an outdoor activity of some kind for everyone.  I’m a big believer in lovers of the outdoors, but not necessarily of lovers in the outdoors. I’m preparing the kiddos for the weirdoes who want to seek out their thrills in the hills. For those of you who think the campground bathroom is a cool place to mate, save it for the city museum.  And if you’re the couple who gives in to your animal urges on the trail when my daughter rounds the curve and sees you … may you be cursed with poison ivy in very inconvenient places.

Read more of Traci’s musings at her blog here: www.momonvacation.blogspot.com

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Jackie Thompson says: March 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    OMG how awkward, uncomfortable, inappropriate… the list goes on! Great story! I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

  • Women's Outdoor News says: March 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    All right … I never know what to expect from your blog posts, but I’m always entertained! You make me laugh out loud … I can just see you at that campground. Hey, we are so happy that you persisted and kept sending us your blog posts! What a great fit to this publication. Thanks, Traci.