• From Where I Sit…

Posted by: kidhelper on Saturday, June 14th, 2008


Here, these camping chairs speak volumes. Benjamin, my grandson, placed his chair next to his Dad’s chair at the campfire ring. I was impressed so I took this picture to record the message. Do you hear the message of Fatherhood? It is about position. It is about being there. It is about differences. It is about modeling. It is about influence. It is about investment. It is about communication. It is about support.

I get it, but there is more…


I was given this early Father’s Day present to visit my oldest son Ken and his family in Baltimore. My son, who valued camping experiences with me as a boy thought it would be good to introduce his oldest son Benjamin to camping. So he enlisted me to be involved in Camping 101 experience, as part of the trip. So Ken found an excellent place with all the comfortable amenities for a camping introduction, an overnight, sleep out in a tent. The car was ever present and McDonald’s was not really far away.


We agreed that if we could make it positive experience, Benjamin might get hooked and might want to go again. At least, maybe we could create a good memory. So I came ready, and the next morning we drove to Gifford Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania, just over an hour away from Lutherville, MD. Neither of us really know how this would go for our five-year old Benjamin, but we were drawing heavily upon our past experiences to make it enjoyable and fun (not too hard and not too long).


We each had responsibilies and Benjamin was in charge of unpacking and setting up the camp chairs. When Benjamin finally arranged the camp chairs around the campfire, I noticed that he placed his chair in the middle of the two big ones. For me, this was symbolic of the fact that there were now two significant men in his life and he was the “middle” of them, front and center with our undivided attention. This was cool.


We had a wonderful time, leisurely talking and sharing memories around the campfire from Ken’s camping experiences with me. We roasted hot dogs for dinner and made “smores” with marsh mellows, chocolate and graham crackers. Yum!


Ben’s father was quick to point out things of interest as we walked around the grounds, something an involved Father does, you know. Benjamin has a mother and father that are very involved in his life. Already he has learned things that I have never yet learned. Camping out was another opportunity to teach him, just as things just came up.


We met the Park Chaplain and he told of a craft program for the children. So we decided to take Benjamin and he decorated this cool Treasure Box to secure his “collectibles,” and the new swiss-army knife that we gave him.


Then was some free time where Benjamin got to just ride his razor scooter. Dad and Pappa taught him how to use his brakes. You will notice his hind foot on the brake, which he learned to use, so he could stop and not fall off any more.


The Park sponsors free Kayaking lessons. So we signed up and had wonderful time, not too long, but great memories and a first for Benjamin. They had one bigger kayak, big enough for all three of us to kayak together.


Well, that was how it happened, a little camping experience for three generations. From where I sit, this is wonderful. The chairs said it all. We passed Camping 101, Benjamin wants to go camping again, so do I.

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2 Responses to “• From Where I Sit…”

Erica Says:
June 14th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

I enjoyed the post. It looks like you all enjoyed the trip very much.

Nancy Aposhian Says:
June 16th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

I liked this one a lot.


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