Many of you know that each summer ushers in an annual camping trip to Challis Hot Springs in central Idaho for the Cleggs. We have enjoyed many years relaxing, sightseeing, and meeting a variety of people. This year my best friend and her husband drove up from Boise area to join us for a couple of days. When you stay in a campground you meet a variety of people who have a varied understanding of what camping really is. Some are new campers, others seasoned, retired recreation campers and then there are some selfish campers. Over the years I have noticed, to my chagrin, an increasing number of campers who are rude and disrespectful not only of other campers but nature. It’s frustrating when people don’t follow campground rules such as picking up trash, keeping dogs on a leash, watching children, respecting curfew and noise levels, etc. Over the weekend when we were there our camp hosts had to kick out one group that became unruly, drunk and very loud. It created drama at a late hour which disturbed the other campers. Also one morning when my friend and I were sitting in our campsite visiting and having a cup of coffee, another camper let their big Weimaraner dog lose to do his business and he ran up to me and peed on my pant leg and my chair. I was so shocked by the chain of events that I froze. The fellow who owned the dog was apologetic and grabbed the dog scolding him. I suggested he might want to follow leash rules so it doesn’t happen to another camper who might not be as understanding. My friend and I kind of laughed it off. During the day though we had several young children and parents walk right through our campsite on the way to the hot pools. My friend was very upset by this lack of respect and made a few comments to the culprits. The people looked at her like she was from Mars.
After my friends left and the campground cleared out, there were only about four campsites still active. Monday was a delightful morning of quiet solitude, blue skies, birds chirping, and relaxation. As we sat enjoying the change, a couple came up to our campsite and had a box of handmade, knitted stocking hats. They were beautifully made. The woman who had lovingly knitted the hats offered one to Ken and one to me – FREE. Wow, what a turn of events. These people were so kind and thoughtful. Apparently they travel around to several camping venues in the summer and she gives hats away. Her name is Bonnie Bowen and she is from St. Anthony, Idaho. She works part-time during the year as a school aide solely to use her earned money to buy yarn. She makes warm hats for all the school children there too. Last she counted she has made 6,000 hats. What an American treasure. She’s the kind of person who needs to be featured on ABC News “Person of the Week”. She restored my faith in people after experiencing some selfish campers over the weekend. In addition to their kindness, the folks they were traveling with brought us homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. YUMMY. What a treat. We felt so blessed!
Kindness in the campground. In the New Testament it says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12. These folks certainly showed kindness to us and exemplified true happy campers. Let us all remember and try to pay it forward this summer.