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781 Campout 2013-03-11

Camp at Long Hunter State Park

My wife is a 6th grade teacher. Each year she offers to take her advisory class camping. Some years the class wants to go and other times it just doesn't work out. This year was a launch - all systems go.

For group campouts in the Nashville area, Long Hunter State Park is hard to beat. They have three group camp areas. We had twelve students and used only one site of one of the group camps, but the camp could accommodate much bigger groups.

Jake, the big dog, and I went to Long Hunter before the class arrived to pay for the site and set-up camp. My instructions for choosing a campsite were simple, choose the site closest to the restrooms (at the Park Office).

After paying for the site and reviewing the regulations with the Office personnel, I began setting camp. I set two tents for the girls, two for the boys, and our tent stuck in no man's land. We used a Sierra Designs - Bedouin, large family tent, a Sierra Designs - Omega, three person tent, a North Face - Peregrine, two person, a Black Diamond - Megalite, three or more persons, and a Marmot - Swallow, two person (and one dog). I had great fun setting the tents. We had not used most of these tents in some time, so each brought back memories. (Oh, the Sierra Designs Omega with the clips instead of pole sleeves was the easiest tent to set by myself. The Megalite is usually very easy to set, but we used the extra screen/floor, which complicates matters.)

With the tents set, I unpacked the vehicle and collected firewood. It was not long before the bus arrived. Jake ran through the field to greet the bus. There were 12 students on board, how could he be happier?

After putting their gear in the tents, the group went for a short walk to the lake. Jake joined the group and entertained them by retrieving rocks they threw into the lake.


Back at camp with the fires and stove started, dinner was hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches (made over the fire in hobo pie tins). Desert was naturally smores.

As the sun set it grew cold. The kids played games in the field and then gathered together to entertain each other around the fire. One student brought a guitar - the student was on the fast track to becoming a musician.

We made it through the night and the next morning went for a hike and then broke camp and headed to Waffle House for breakfast.

The campout was a good experience for all.

A few notes ...

One student tripped over Jake's lead line almost immediately after getting off the bus. A short while later the same student tripped and fell hard again. We began to warn the student of possible tripping hazards.

In the morning, while everyone else was still sleeping, Jake and I walked the field and saw a green object lying near a tree. It was a jacket. A while later after hearing the same student had lost their flashlights I took another brief stroll before locating them. Some kids just lose things.

It was not overly cold at night, but the students were 11 and 12 years old and most with limited camping experience. During the night, one student came to our tent and politely told my wife that she was very cold and could not sleep. Amy got up, gave the student some extra clothes and had the student do jumping jacks before going back to bed. We heard no other complaints.

Jake injured his leg playing. He just loves to play and does so with reckless abandon. It's just part of being a retriever.

Happy Campout trails


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