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A Day Camping

By: Sarah R.
South Dakota, Age 15

In the summer months my friends and I go on many camping trips. The normal camping trip begins with packing up whatever items you feel are necessary to survive at the lake usually some comfortable clothes, firewood and a tent. Then we drive the ten or fifteen minutes to the lake in our stuffed van. When you finally get there and jump out of the van you are instantly overwhelmed with the many different smells of a camping ground. One of my favorite smells is the rich and smoky smell of the campfires that are burning all around. After taking these few moments to enjoy the newfound legroom outside the van we begin to unpack. We get out the tent and struggle to find a decent spot to set up our home for the next night or two. We finally find a place large enough and flat enough for us, and then we pick up anything that might hurt to sleep on like rocks from the beach or sticks from the huge oak trees that surround us.
After setting up everything we attempt to start our fire. It only takes us a few minutes to realize that we forgot matches to start the fire with. So we pile back into the van, drive back into town and retrieve the necessities. After arriving back at the lake and talking about how incredibly dumb we are for forgetting something so important we begin to look for dry leaves and small sticks to use as kindling for the fire. I ignite the small pile of leaves with a match and cough as the smoke from it fills my lungs. The fire is started so we place just enough wood on the fire to keep it going until we get back from the lake.
When we return from swimming we are all a bit chilled from spending so much time in the brisk water and because the sunĘs warmth is gone. We have to build up the fire again for it to warm us up. Then we sit around the fire and listen to it crackle and pop as we roast hot dogs and marshmallows. The hot dogs have a distinct smoky flavor that you only get from a campfire. The marshmallows melt the chocolate and the flavors compliment each other well. After we finish eating our campfire food, we settle in for a good nightĘs sleep in our sleeping bags.