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  • Writer's pictureMaria Warner

Family Camp Values got Me Through Covid with a Smile

Updated: Feb 7




When the world shut down and I was stripped of the distractions of modern society, dining out, entertainment, and shopping I was left with my true essence. And ouch, I didn’t like that person. I laid around feeling sorry for myself. I thought of all the things I was missing because of a virus. Like not visiting with my dying father and a  canceled girl’s trip. I couldn’t shop for my friend Kim’s birthday, I had to give her a roll of toilet paper. It was like anything that I wanted to do, even if I hadn’t wanted to do it for years, I NOW couldn’t do. More mental than anything, but what to do?


That’s when I realized we had to live like we did when we went to family camp for one week every summer. We chose to vacation where you didn’t have to buy a special travel wardrobe, there were no entertainment expenses, and we ate home cooked meals in the dining hall all week. Another gift that camp has given to me and my family.


Unintentionally, but once again we were blessed. So I started to live like I was at camp.


The kids came around for family meals. They didn’t have anywhere else to go and we were happy to have that time with them. We were fortunate to be able to eat outside in our Arizona warm weather to keep our social distance. We ended our meals with a s’more over the firepit, just like at camp. After a week of that and a conversation with the bathroom scale, I tapered that treat to once a week.


Our meals focused on all our comfort foods. Thanksgiving dinner, grilled cheese and tomato soup, hamburgers, and fries. All meals that we love at camp, too. A bonus of eating at home was that I recognized how much food we purchased and didn’t use, and how much went into the garbage. I started composting, another practice from camp.


Now, I purchase less food, use it up before it spoils, and have less waste going to the dump. The composting company that picks up my weekly bucket uses it to grow more produce. What a win!


Mike and I started a running card game of Gin. We played every night and kept a tally of wins. He beat me in 2020 and beat me in 2021. But really, who is keeping score? Not me anymore, unless I start winning in 2022, but it’s not looking good. Anyone have some strategy to share? While playing, we remembered our friends that play Euchre every night at camp on the snack bar patio.


Crafts and creativity came back into my world. Megan and I made a wine cork wreath for her grandfather. And then we realized how many corks we had from our covid daily happy hour and decided we needed to table that new habit alongside the s’more practice.

So to wrap up:

  • Family comfort meals

  • S’mores

  • Composting

  • Crafts

  • Card game


I hope to keep these moving forward. It’s a challenge with new restaurants beckoning. I need a slightly larger wardrobe due to covid 10 (that is not a type, not covid- 19-that is for the 10 pounds I gained) so I must shop soon. And there aren’t enough corks for a new craft. Plus, how many years can I let Mike beat me before he catches on that I’m throwing the Gin tournament.

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