We have some history at this campground. We remember it, as we drive the tent stakes and hang the clothesline and send the kids to the playground.


There was the time I dropped Ryan’s phone by the pool. I reached out my foot to break the fall, and the phone skittered forward toward the water, bounced onto the concrete inch-high berm around the pool… and stopped there. Right on the lip.

boys in pool

There was the time Ryan and I put the boys to bed and sat by our campfire and chose a name for the baby growing inside me: Kelly Michal for a girl, ——- Michael for a boy. (Saving the other name; still love it.) Right there. I can almost put my foot on the spot.


There was the time we were driven out by rain.

There was the time we were driven out by rain.

There was the time we were driven out by rain. This is the dominant memory, to which all others are recessive. We left the tent wide open in clear weather and went to the lake. Ominous clouds rose out of the west, and we loaded up and scuttled back just in time to experience the downpour of a lifetime. I stepped out of the van—with an umbrella—and was immediately soaked, my skirt whipped in the wind and my face blinded. That time the camp staff upgraded our family to a cabin for free, and we dried everything off in the Laundromat.

We tried again the next year, and got rained out again. We did other stuff for a few years, and this summer we said “Let’s do that again.”

green woods and stream

Friday was gorgeous. Saturday was gorgeous. Sunday was nice too. We sat under mostly sunny skies and thanked Jesus aloud that we hadn’t gotten rained out. Ten minutes later we looked at the sky and saw rainclouds rolling over the hill. Dumb hill. You can’t see the weather coming. We started packing up, sooner than we’d planned. Half an hour after our thankful prayer, down came the rain. And yes, our tent was still out in it. I hate to accuse God of laughing but I think someday I will too.


I declare I’m not going back. Three-out-of-three is too many times to get rained out. But oh, it was a lovely weekend.

our family

cotton candy


What are your favorite camping spots and memories?

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Kendra Sensenig
9 years ago

SUCH sweet memories! For you and for your kiddos. It looks like a lovely camping spot. It brings back memories of sleeping out in the woods behind our house, packing up for weekends with our camper at several lovely campgrounds (that’s how I learned to swim), and the most recent time, when it rained, forcing me to huddle as small as I could between the drippy places in the tent… Also of sitting around the campfire reading “The Princess Bride” aloud, drinking campfire coffee, and revelling in just being together. Thanks for this fun post!

9 years ago

I recognize the landscape, the flume, the setting, but – was the campgrounds close by? I didn’t know of any. Our family loves this area! Jolynn

9 years ago
Reply to  Jolynn

The campground is Bear Run, an hour south in Portersville. We like it other than the rain. 🙂 It’s rather cushy for camping: very nice playground, nice staff, and a heated pool. Some of the pictures are taken at McConnells Mill State Park, close by.

Mama Zook
9 years ago

Raining during campout…isn’t that a Zook tradition? All those campouts at Devil’s Lake State Park at the Oregon beach and rain almost every year. The guys all up in trees performing the annual stretching of the huge tarps over the eating/cooking areas, the puddles to play in if the rain stops. I know the daughters-in-law were not impressed the year they joined the big Zook family (in tents). Then there was the tenting in Yellowstone park, with a gully washer, and snow on another occasion. I’m hoping the experiences have made us into stronger women. Glad you gave it another shot, and went again this year. Your littles will have precious memories!

Diane Histand
9 years ago

Camping we love it. We used to camp with a tent, often with some of my siblings and their families… great memories… we upgraded to an older pop up camper, wow the memories we have from those days too. Our family begrudgingly gave that one up, the pop up that is. It was almost like tenting, but better. Now we have a “hard top” trailer, and are making memories with it. It can rain and we just go inside and play games. Most of our camping memories are times spent only a mile from home on my husbands hunting property. We can camp often and still get some work done at home. Breakfast over the fire is our favorite! We love sitting around the fire in the evenings, singing, chatting, and laughing together. Camping has given our family MANY fun memoires and trust we will make many more!
Diane H

9 years ago

I think I do not like camping, and rain and dirt are the reasons why!
Five years ago we wanted to visit family in MT, so we camped our way out, taking 9 days, visiting Laura Ingalls sites and other interesting things.
I decided to make the best of it, and figured that I would tolerate it, but I loved it! It did rain once, major thunderstorms that the children slept right through, and our tent dripped on us! The next morning we just packed up all the we things, ate out for breakfast instead of hanging around a campfire, and got everything cleaned up at a Laundromat. We found so many nice state parks.
This summer we spontaneously camped just one night at a park near us. We had so much simple fun! The children were thrilled and I don’t think they fought once!! It didn’t rain either!

9 years ago

Love the picture of Regan with the spring flowing out of his mouth!!!

I can’t think of any particular memory (total brain freeze) but we do love camping and sticking close to home in case of catastrophic weather, which is kind of a given in these parts. 🙂

9 years ago

It’s probably the tent not the campground. 🙂

Kim Glenn
9 years ago

Ahhhh….camping memories, we went once. Gully wash of rain, soaked tent, small girl coming down with hand, foot and mouth disease….crying all night.
Like I said, we went once…….maybe we missed out by not giving it a second chance, but the thought gave me a panic attack. 🙂

9 years ago

We just went camping (in Grandma and Papa’s back yard) on Memorial Day weekend, and had a great time! I loved hearing Jake say that what he loves best is slowly waking up in the morning to hearing the zzzzzip of the zipper opening to the tent, of Daddy getting up to start the fire for breakfast! I was elated, because I have similar memories: the canvassy smell of the old green and yellow tent, pancakes frying in the morning, the occasional drenching rain and “don’t touch the tent–the rain will come inside then!”, birds cawing in the trees to wake us up! I try to embrace the dirt and mess and I love camping!

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