“WHATEVER!” That’s a pretty common response from kids when wisdom is offered by dads. I can’t lie—I’ve had that response once or twice (or more) in my lifetime when my Dad offered me thoughts on life. Doesn’t everyone think “I know it all” while growing up? Back then, I called it “brave and bold” thinking. Now, I call it “young and stupid” un-thinking. Please allow me to explain. Psst we’re compensated…see our disclosures.
Things My Dad Taught Me About Camping and Life
Be a Master of the Grill
A pan-fried burger is an embarrassment to any self-respecting food enthusiast. A real burger requires grilling! But, why stop there? My Dad cooks entire meals on his grill and he taught me to never-ever EVER be intimidated by charcoal briquettes, wood-fired coals or roaring campfires. Cook like you mean it…don’t be afraid to make mistakes…you will…and, you will learn from each one and make improvements along your grilling journey.
So maybe I took this lesson a little too seriously now that my Dad half-wonders if I have become a pyromaniac! Just for the record…I am not a pyro!
I actually learned this lesson AFTER the pontoon boat blunder…Oops! I said “No worries! We have plenty of gas to get around the entire lake before going back to the boat dock to refuel.” Shortly after I made that bold statement, our entire floating clan needed to shift to one side of the boat so the law of gravity could ensure we got every drop of gas out of the tank and into the fuel line. We arrived back at the boat dock on fumes but we didn’t have to paddle!
Camping can be full of fun or full of chaos…Choose Fun!
All it takes is a bit of preparation to have a great camping trip. Here’s a quick camping checklist to make any trip almost effortless.
- Make your reservations.
- Get your vehicle ready.
- Check for fire restrictions before planning your menu.
- Plan your menu and make your grocery list.
- Pack your clothes and gear.
- Check for traffic and construction.
- Fuel up.
- Check the forecast
- Pick up the perishables.
- Load, lock and go.
Life lesson on being prepared: Matthew 25:3-10 MSG
The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep. “In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bridegroom’s here! Go out and greet him!’ “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’ “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’ “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.
Spending quality time with our friends and family is one of the best parts about camping! I am not going to say I am unlike the average modern-day first world overworked, overscheduled, overcommitted human being. In our 24/7 connected crazy-paced society, it is really hard to slow down enough to truly be in the moment and deeply connect with others. You think you can multi-task while tapping away with your thumbs on your phone and still be connected in conversation with the person standing right in front of you? Think again superhero! Deep connection takes time and loving unconditionally is waaaay easier said than done. You need time to go deep and depth surely does help when you’re shooting for the goal of unconditional love.
I’ve done LOTS of stupid things in my life, including the time I was one in a bunch of neighborhood kids who decided it was a good idea to ride dirt bikes all over the community tennis courts! In fact, we thought the idea was so good that we didn’t stop until a concerned neighbor called the police and…well…you can imagine the rest of the story!
In spite of the fact that I was a “brave and bold” kid who got in to my fair share of trouble, there was never a time I doubted the love of my Dad and I always appreciated the discipline I earned through exercising my brave and bold ways of life. I was never unsure of the level of love in our entire family.
As much as I fully understand and accept the unconditional love of my Dad, I still have a tough time really comprehending the magnitude of the love of God. It is mind-blowing to think God, the Creator of everything, actually loves all of us so much that He would come to earth as a man, sacrifice by being crucified on a cross to pay for the sins of all mankind…then…He gives us our own free will to choose to love Him back…WOW!
John 3:16-18 MSG
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
The thing I am most grateful for is that my Dad is a God-fearing man. He models God’s love beautifully: unconditional love coupled with correction in love. Pastor Todd Clark recently described God’s character this way:
- God’s grace is guaranteed
- God’s grace does not negate His discipline
- God’s discipline is thorough
- God is the God of second chances
On this Father’s Day, I’m happy to proclaim getting older does not ONLY mean my metabolism has slowed down and I have to limit myself to half of the serving of crème brulee today unless I want to put on my stretch jeans tomorrow! It also means I can finally admit a few things, here goes…
(And just in case you want to read it again without my snazzy graphics, xo)
- I never did know it all (and still don’t. You are welcome, I finally said it!)
- I actually did hear you even though I didn’t always follow your advice
- I am my father’s daughter
- You are a true Grill Master (and I’m so grateful you taught me well! Now, can you PLEASE give up the cardboard you call parmesan cheese in a can?!?)
- I’m blessed to have you as my Dad (I thank God daily for that!)
I love you,
From our family to yours…HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
What do you think?
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I love sharing my recipes and tips for enjoying the great outdoors while camping, RV adventuring and relaxing in your own backyard. I’d love to hear what you think and if you’d like to share some of your secrets, I’d love to hear them too! Please leave a comment below and let’s chat.
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