Brothers Campfire… Camps

Hello, Benjamin from Brothers Campfire here!

Every year, I take my son and nephew to what we call the Father/Son Campout.

This year it was no exception and I started out checking for a fire ban in Park County. I was unable to find one so we brought things to cook.  The Thirteen-Year Veteran did the shopping, and meat, beans, and chocolate were on the menu.

Nothing ever goes off without a hitch. Despite waking before the sun was up, we got caught behind a traffic accident in the pass up to Woodland Park.

While we waited, I found that my nephew and my son had never heard the C.W. McCall Wolf Creek Pass song.

We stopped at a gas station topped off the radiator fluid. There was no need for any blown engines on this trip at least.

I texted Isabel, my Beloved Bride, as I discovered there was no insurance paperwork in the car. Driving through small towns, I knew I was a prime target for getting pulled over.

During these trips, our group almost always arrives first. We posted colors at the entrance so those that were coming to the event could find it easier.

It was time to set up camp. I prefer making shelters or sleeping under the stars.

These shelters can be complicated or simple. The one pictured below took about as long as three tent setups and takedowns combined.

With a little more effort, I believe the setup could endure some weather.

This one was easy and quite spacious. Several support lines were added for durability. I slept in this the first day and under the stars the second.

As I am rightful head of Brothers Campfire, it was only right to construct a throne with private quarters. A few stand-up men and a few turds used it when I wasn’t.

The established firepit was not to my specifications. Believe it or not, I am particularly discriminating about Campfires.

For example, my backyard fire is designed to be oxygen-rich to quickly burn large amounts of material.

The firepit below was fueled with dead aspens. Broken in half with a sledgehammer blow, It was easy work and a steady burn. The coals could be piled up under the grate for cooking.

The initial fire was small to make a pot of coffee. We brought coffee in a sock.

It was dark and flavorful with a hint of dyed cotton. We drank a LOT of coffee. In fact, my son and nephew only drank one hot chocolate packet between the both of them on a three-day, two-night trip.

Herb Thiel, my father, procured a Betsy Ross flag from Affordable Flags and Fireworks . We found a suitable flagpole in the forest, set it three feet in the ground for stability, and posted colors for a second time.

It was playtime. I built a fort.

There were visitors, so I proceeded back to the Campfire. Yarns were spun and coffee was shared. At an hour too ungodly to mention, we went to bed.

I awoke to see a half of a beard had grown. I heated some water and removed it with a store-bought razor blade. (As far as you know)

Submission to God is important. One outward demonstration of this is keeping my face clean-shaven. It’s how I roll.

Friday was our biggest day. I visited other campsites of folks we know, ate an inordinate amount of junk food and drank more coffee and Monster drinks than the legal limit, and put up the hammock so I could try and take a nap despite the caffeine. I know… It is quite contradictory.

After an evening of watching wargames between the young men, I was notified that my friend Howard had arrived. By flashlight, we got them all set up.

Howard, a down-to-earth cowboy, rougher than cob

The evening was not over. My son and I supplied the young men with Dollar Tree laser pointers to continue the war in the forest. A combination of lasers and the sound of airsoft rifles likely rattled every adult in the camp at least a little.

I will say, I was disappointed. For at least the last ten years, I have played wargames in the woods. ALL of the teenagers refused to shoot me or point a laser when I engaged.

After speaking with my dad about it, we concluded that because I usher and teach PE, they didn’t feel right about it. If that is the case, I am ok with it. What I feel deep inside is that I am too old and slow, and they feel sorry for me.

The sleep under the stars was beautiful and I was toasty warm. Unfortunately, morning came quickly. As there were no women folk to balance our diets, we ate breakfast sausage and waffles. Howard and his dad joined us, and afterwards we started packing up. One thing I learned about Howard is, he likes Folgers Black Silk and he wasn’t about to let any coffee go to waste.

Looking back, in 2020 we were unable to have a Men’s Campout and toilet paper was a luxury. Ceremoniously, we burned a roll of toilet paper to express our frustration and newfound opulence. We then extinguished the flames .

The ride home was uneventful, and we put everything away. The Thirteen-Year Veteran slept from 2 PM Saturday until 7 AM Sunday. I can only imagine what adventures he may have had. I went to bed a bit early as well, but not until I had completed my honey-do list that had been piling up while I was away. Well, that is all. Have a beautiful week!

Author: Benjamin

Benjamin Thiel is a community leader, urban farmer, and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. He might know a guy...

51 thoughts on “Brothers Campfire… Camps

  1. Cassa Bassa says:

    Camping is a great way to be grounded I think. I took my family to camp in the Kangaroo Valley on one new years eve. The Milky way was glorious. The socialising and sharing food and conversation between campers had a real community feel to it. In memory, it took a long time to set up the tent due to inexperience.

      1. Cassa Bassa says:

        That was exactly what I was thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice to have joined family camping trip, coffee/hot chocolate/hot soup around the campfire and we all will spin a tale or two.

  2. Wendy says:

    What great memories!! Did you use the sock as a filter? Clever!

  3. Barbara says:

    Sounds like it was fun, especially for the young ones. Not having an eventful drive home can be a good thing.

  4. Homemaking in the Dunes says:

    Oh my, this is how my husband prefers to camp, we have a backpacking trip in 10 days. I have never backpacked in with everything before. I am supposed to bring next to nothing. I am a very equipped LL BEAN camper. This looks fun for BOYS. Now I am really nervous about how backpacking trip. My husband would be in his glory. My husband loves to tell stories around the campfire of when he was hopping freight trains.

          1. Benjamin says:

            Look up some guides. If you have questions, you can ask Isabel or me.

          2. Homemaking in the Dunes says:

            I will. I have a backpack, a mummy bag, and an inflatable pillow to support my neck to avoid migraine. It is a ten mile hike total. I trying to plan meals for us that are portable.

  5. Beverly says:

    Wow, what an adventure for all ages. It seems like the the young people could have stayed a week. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Beverly says:

        I know, right? We need our sleep. They can go without it and just crash later, like the thirteen year old veteran did. Lol

  6. ThingsHelenLoves says:

    What a heart warming post. I love the fact that when all was said and done, you tackled that honey do list before you put your feet up. You’re a good egg!

  7. stevescountry says:

    Sounds like it was a great time Benjamin, thanks for sharing. I miss those kinds of camp outs. By the way, I have been commenting lately but they don’t seem to be showing up, perhaps going to spam? If this one doesn’t arrive then don’t bother answering it!😂😹

    1. Benjamin says:

      This one arrived! I will be able to see spammed comments when I get to a computer. My Android doesn’t give me the options I like to properly answer them.

      We did have a great time! I appreciate it Steve!

  8. Omatra7 says:

    Hahaha that always happens on passes like that!! Especially when you wanna get there and usually when it’s really hot OR snowing lol

    Lol on your song 🎶 ❤️

    So you go on big camping trip with many people you know? That sounds cool.

    We used to camp when I was young and we would do cross country road trips with parents and siblings … oh the fun times!!

    I’ve just never been with huge group of people … and I would probably be a motor home camper now lol ✌️ not sure about that toilet lol

    Yeah I think I am motor home person lol – my tent days are long ago. lol

    1. Benjamin says:

      I go every year with friends from church. Many of them use tents, but there are also plenty that use trailers. I may grow out of sleeping under the stars, but not yet.

      1. Omatra7 says:

        That sounds like fun with all your friends!

        I am just too old and like creature comforts – please bugs and bears or things.. I like protection ✌️

  9. Adelheid says:

    Wow, you truly enjoyed the camp! 😊 But always keep safe, my friend. 😉

  10. Gary Fultz says:

    It’s so good to see someone taking the kids camping. What a great way to learn about life, some basic skills and hone storytelling around the campfire. Maybe you have reached legendary status and off limits in the war games?? .

    1. Benjamin says:

      Ha ha! I would like to think I reached legendary status. I think I reached Cronich Wasting Deer Status. No one wants to hunt me! 🤠🔥

  11. Angie says:

    Sounds like everyone had such a great time! I used to do a lot of camping while I was younger. These days the ticks are too bad for me to want to spend the night out there.
    I relate to Howard on the coffee front. Black Silk is my favorite aside from the single cups espressos for my K-cups. I love/need a good strong cup of java!


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