Musings of a Beaverton Teen: Summer Camping, I Suppose I Can Wait

By Lani Garcia (11th Grader)06 hammocks

This month, I want to write about camping. Why now, you ask? I mean, take a look outside. It’s rainy, cold, and not exactly the best camping weather. But if you want to reserve a decent spot at your favorite campground for the summer, then you need to start planning now.

That’s exactly why I found my dad on the computer at 7 A.M. sharp this morning, racing to snag our favorite camping spot at the beach. He knows most campgrounds start taking reservations six to nine months ahead of arrival.

If you’ve never been camping before, some of my favorite spots are Silver Falls State Park where you can hike behind a waterfall, Lost Lake where you can paddleboard the day away, and Tillicum Beach where you can watch the sunset each night just over your fire, reflecting off the blue Pacific.

However, where you go is less important than just going itself. Getting out there. I think one of the most important things in life is people connecting with nature. Putting down our phones, leaving behind all of our worries, and focusing on our wild roots.

Camping is one of the easiest ways to do this, providing simple moments that turn into long-lasting memories.

I appreciate the woodsy smell of forests and waking up to a symphony of birds chirping- although sometimes the crows can be a bit too… squawky for six in the morning, I’ll admit it. And who knew a can of chili could taste so good? What I love most though is the aroma of a campfire, and late-night conversations with my family around it.

There’s just something about camping that makes me feel at peace with my surroundings, and at peace with myself. In the meantime, I have five more months of school to get through before my family goes on our outdoor summer adventures. I suppose I can wait.

Lani is a junior at Beaverton High School. As a ZooTeen, she volunteers at the Oregon Zoo during the summer. She plays piano & guitar, and enjoyed doing dragon boats this past year.