Campout Recap

The First (revived) UU Family Campout was so much fun! Fifteen UU’s from the Sheridan and Casper congregations gathered at Hettinger Campground, west of Buffalo, Wyoming. Discussions among participants were unanimous about next year: that we certainly want to do it again, and we’d like to change the location each year so that our friends in other regional communities will have an easier time attending and that it would be fair to move the location around. If a suitable group campground can be found in the Snowy Range next year, it’s a likely location.

The first day we spent getting to know one another and setting up camp.Adults and teens both participated in the crafting activity as the campfire was lit. Some of us enjoyed smores and marshmallows on the fire. In the evening, it started to rain and we did some of our group singing a little early as we huddled under the canopy. Those at camp were pleased when more Casper UU friends showed up in the evening and we got to enjoy some more music.

The second day was all about hiking, food, games, and more singing in the rain under the canopy. Just before the rain came down, a group of us enjoyed playing bocce on the uneven terrain. There were wildflowers everywhere, plenty of shade at the campground in the daytime, and the peace of nature.

On Sunday morning, some of the group had to leave early, but the rest stayed for a short Sunday service and discussion about peace, non-violence, and brainstorming ways our regional groups can connect. I think that as we move forward we will look forward to interacting more with our nearby UU congregations and friends, learning about each others’ strengths and considering how each group’s uniqueness can be part of how we come together from time to time.

So far, a post event survey that was sent out to participants has had three people give feedback to be shared in our publications:

“It bought us closer together in community. Really, really close huddling under the canopy away from the rain! Despite the weather, we had enough sunshine and warm hearts to make it a cheerful and enriching event.”

“A nice fun time and a chance to get to know one another.”

“A great time!”

Here are some photos from the campout:

The hiking crew, from left to right: Stuart Mackenzie, Melody Mackenzie, Sue Roberts, Orion Beadling, Shannon Anderson, Cindy Wright, Gideon McLean, Genny Trickett, Jayne Jacobs, and Cassandra Fabiano
Squeezed under the canopy, left to right: Orion Beadling, Stuart Mackenzie, Melody Mackenzie, Sue Roberts, Josh Paredez, and Jayne Jacobs
The view from the farthest we went on Saturday’s hike, up the county road by Hunter Trail. We originally planned to hike from Circle Park Trailhead to Sherd Lake, but the mud had the road closed!