Camp Out

May 31, 2023 –

On a spring evening in 1950, my younger brother, me, and another 9-year-old boy decided to camp out. It would be in the great outdoors—my backyard. The campout was our first. As our neighbor friend Maurice said, “The overnight experience would be exciting.”

In the night darkness, we would share ghost stories. Scarry stories.

At nightfall, we bedded down using some blankets, built a small campfire, and looked at the setting sun. The dimmer the fire became, the darker the night became. The number and variations of sounds we heard, many of which we had never heard, startled us. With the fading light, objects around us became less clear. Bushes were now wild animals, including bears and werewolves.

As it became darker, we told fewer ghost stories. While the flames of the fire died, our friend’s mother called for him to come home. Now, the fearsome three became the frightened two. Soon, the fearless two packed up and went inside. The adventure in the great outdoors was over.