Camping – A Dad Journal

Yes, put the idea into their heads and yes, they asked all winter, into early spring, and even a few times around Easter.  One question, 4 words, 2 boys in unison:

Can we go camping?


“When?  When can we go camping?”

“When it’s warmer outside.  You wouldn’t like camping in the snow.”

“We love the snow!”

“Not that much.”

Can we go camping?

“Yes.  Soon.”

“When?  When can we go camping?”

“After school lets out.”

“My teacher said that our last day was yesterday!”

“No, she didn’t.  It’s still May.”

“I’m going to get my camping stuff packed.”

Later: “Where is all the cheese?”

Can we go camping? 

“Indeed, we can.”

“When?  When can we go camping?”

“Like Harold Camping?  Hopefully never.”


“Nothing.  We’ll go soon. This summer.”

“When? Wh..

“Next week.”

“I’m going to pack my camping stuff!”

“Leave the cheese in the fridge, please.”

Finally, after centuries of asking, their Dad finally took them camping.  We traveled to a borrowed camper seated on a well known campground and moved right in to our temp digs.  They took the bunks and I took the grownups bed.  Just the Davidson men.  “We’re men” the boys would say, age 8 and 5, while poking fire with a sacrificial stick.  “We’re men” the boys would say, while picking up spiders and counting their legs.  “We’re men”, walking to get firewood while dodging poison ivy.

That night, a frog, not knowing better, jumped into the fire.  Nothing could be done to rescue the little guy on the hot coals.  We watched nature’s cremation in silence.  “We’re… men?”

The next morning, a service was held to bury the remaining torso.  I referenced Psalm 23.

We went to the local meat market, which the 5 year old man referred to as “the deer and bear store” for thick-sliced bacon to cook over the fire.  We’re men.  The bacon caught fire because, well, grease.  It tasted good.  We’re men.

Our conversations covered all kinds of guy topics, even breaching the where do babies come from? question.  Storks.  They’re 8 and 5.  The 8 year old was dissatisfied.  The 5 year old threw a leaf into the fire and moved on.

We ate S’mores for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We tried cooking Pop-Tarts over an open fire.  We explored the woods and walked to the lake.  The 5 year old said “Daddy, doesn’t that look beautiful?” while pointing to the lake.  In that moment, I felt what it might have been like for God & Adam to walk through the garden of Eden.  He enjoyed creation with someone he created.  Yes, the lake is beautiful, but the child recognizing and sharing the beauty with his dad is overwhelming.

The 8 year old tried to catch a fish with his bare hands.  I made promise — by verbal contract — that we would cook whatever he caught with his bare hands while silently hoping he did not catch a fish with his bare hands, because, at that moment, I believed my son could do anything he wanted to.

On the way home, we ate the last of the crackers and cheese.  Everything — our clothes, our pillows, the truck — smelled like camping.

Because We’re men.

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About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
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3 Responses to Camping – A Dad Journal

  1. Ed says:

    That was awesome!

  2. Ed & Donna McMurray says:

    You’re a great story teller Adam. Thanks for sharing that experience

  3. candie says:

    Next camping trip for toasting bread and pop tarts have the boys cover a box with foil set it near the fire!

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