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We recently celebrated my cousin Logan’s 12th birthday. To celebrate his special day, he wanted all of us to go camping with him. We packed some provisions and headed out. As soon as we arrived at the camping ground we started putting up our tents. We borrowed our friends’ large tent, which had more than enough room for our family. Logan and Uncle Todd brought hammocks, and there was a smaller tent for Aunt Wendy and our cousins Evie, Luke, and Landon.
Once we got our shelters up, it was around 5:30 p.m., so we prepped for dinner. We chopped some potatoes, carrots, and onions. Evie and Luke helped me with the garlic, and then we added a little salt and oregano before we wrapped all the vegetables up in some aluminum foil and cooked it over the fire. Along with the vegetables, we cooked vermilion snapper, which Logan and us boys had caught while fishing with our grandpa out in the gulf. Uncle Todd also cooked an apple crisp, so there was more than enough food.
The camping spot was right on a bayou, and after an enjoyable dinner, we headed down to the water to see if we could catch some fish. It was only a few minutes after casting our lines that we noticed the unwelcome presence of mosquitoes. We tried to ignore the mosquitoes and keep fishing, but their numbers quickly grew. Eventually we had to just grab our gear and run for it—the pesky, blood-sucking insects drove us off.
When we were walking up to our camp, I smelled the wood smoke, and it reminded me a lot of the tribe we work with in Asia Pacific. We gathered some straight sticks and roasted marshmallows for s’mores. It was a really nice evening despite the humid heat. Dad, Mom, Morgan, Uncle Todd, and my younger cousins went to bed while Kian, Logan, and Asher told scary stories around the fire.
In the middle of the night, it was hot and the mosquito bites were starting to itch, so I couldn’t really sleep. I went and sat outside to enjoy the stars. I happened to see a very large raccoon mischievously walking down the road in search of leftover food any campers might have thrown away. Earlier we had seen a rabbit, so the rabbit and the raccoon were the extent of our wildlife observations.
The next morning I was the first one up and relit the fire. I didn’t have to wait long before everyone else started to stir. Dad and Uncle Todd drove to Panera Bread Company to get breakfast and coffee—we weren’t really roughing it too much! After breakfast we cleaned up our camp and wanted to get home to take showers.
The whole camping trip was great. It was so much fun being able to spend time with Logan on his birthday, and there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than to be out in God’s creation.
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