One Night at Camp Lawton
Another trip into the great outdoors.
Some of you may remember our adventure down at Parker Canyon Lake last April with my son’s Cub Scout pack. The sights. The water. The 90+ degree heat. Exciting.
Well, last weekend was the Fall camp-out up on Mt. Lemmon. We stayed at scenic Camp Lawton and enjoyed overnight lows in the mid forties. Below you’re going to find a bunch of pictures I took while we were there. Mind the alt-text, and click to get larger images.
Unlike the last overnight trip, I ended up taking both of my older children with me. It was my daughter’s first time camping, and she really enjoyed herself. She made fast friends and took part in a bunch of the activities. She ended up in most of the pictures because she was on hand when I had my camera out. My son was busy running around being a Cub Scout and a boy.
As a bonus, while I took the older kids, my parents went ahead and took our youngest to their house for the weekend as well. So, my wife got to have a day all to herself. There is nothing quite like coming home to a smiling, happy wife.
In the Spring, I had to borrow all of our camping gear from a friend. This time was totally different.
For start with, I had my very own tent. It’s a 6-man Coleman, which should be large enough for the whole family and a little gear. It held up very well, and I’m very satisfied with it.
We also had one sleeping bag.
Oh, and a cooler we got at a swap meet.
I had to borrow everything else. Again. So, not totally different, I guess. Wayne was kind enough to step up and help me out by lending me his tarp and a couple of sleeping bags for my kids. Thanks again, Wayne. (Wayne is in charge of MAN Tucson Ministries. If you have a moment, please go show him some love.)
I’m not going to comment on this, other than to say that it was nice to have an enclosed place to go to the bathroom, and hooray for indoor plumbing.
One of the activities was building a model rocket for the rocket launch next month. There was a lot of glue and patience involved in the construction. I expect a certain amount of precision will turn out to be important, as well. Launch day should be fun to watch.
All the kids had the chance to join in a scavenger hunt around the woods, play Kick-Ball and Capture the Flag, and go on a hike around the campgrounds, which was much larger than I had anticipated. I need to get some better footwear for hiking, it seems. The tennis shoes that held up really well around Disneyland didn’t service me as well here.
The first day was closed out by sitting around a large campfire. Songs were sung. Stories were told. Cub Scouts were allowed to ramble on at length while the adults listened intently for some sign that they were going to stop. No s’mores this time, though. Camp Lawton is in bear country, and to keep the nosy critters out of the camp, they require that all food be kept in the kitchen.
We turned in, bundled up, and huddled together for warmth in our tent. I highly recommend using an air mattress if you can swing it. Very comfortable, no matter what kind of ground you’ve set up on. It’s really important to insulate them, though. Both the top and the bottom. The temperature really dropped around 2:00 AM, and I could feel the cold air trying to creep through the three layers of blankets and bedding we had used.
Even so, we all slept well. None of us thought we did, which is pretty normal for that first night of camping. We all heard each other snoring at one point or another through the night, though. We all felt rested, despite waking up a little rough around the edges.
All that was left was to tear everything down, have some breakfast, and clean up the campsite. (Leave no trace!) We headed down the mountain just before lunch. We just made a quick stop at Windy Point to enjoy the view.
Tell me your favorite camping story. What’s the coldest weather you’ve camped in? Have you ever seen a bear? Do you know how to stop a rambling Cub Scout? Share, or just say ‘Hi’ to my mom in the comments below.
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