By: Kaitlyn Farrelly
Ever since I was about two years old, I have been going camping with my inner family and all of my Dad’s extended family. It is a special tradition we have kept for a long time. I cannot remember the very first time I walked along the pebbly grounds of Hickory Run, but I have a montage in my mind of all the memories I have had ever since. My family and I always go on Columbus weekend, and whenever I am feeling blue about the end of the summer, I know that in just two months I will be camping; it gives me something to look forward to, the cherry on top of something so unpleasant (to me at least) like the start of school. I wait and wait for this special occasion, and finally, it comes upon me.
When I was younger, and even today, it has always been so exciting coming home early from school or taking the day off and heading to the Pocono’s to camp for the weekend. There is nothing like camping during the fall when the leaves have such beautiful, vibrant colors, the air has a certain crisp scent, and the nights get extra cold in the Pocono’s, so you have to bundle up and get all cozy. Sitting by the fire is the best part when the nights pitch black, and all you can see are the flames making shadows on everyone’s faces. My cousins always try to freak me out by telling scary stories, and most times it works. Afterwards, I always find myself double checking my surroundings and clinging to my family a little more than usual.
I love waking up in the mornings to see the RV windows frosted, and the grass and fallen leaves all dewy; I am usually one of the first people up, so I typically make a fire, take a walk to the meadow, or just sit back in my chair and take in all of the beautiful scenery. I love having this time to simply focus on the more important things in life like my family and just how beautiful nature is and all it has to offer. All of my cares get taken away by the breeze of the fall air, and I am at peace.
During the afternoons, we usually go hiking or visit some of our favorite attractions that Hickory Run holds. When we are not doing that, my cousins and I will sneak off and make our own trails and discoveries. I love just sitting in front of the pond and watching people fish as well as gazing at the waterfall as it crashes onto the rocks below. I always meet so many other campers, and everyone is always so friendly. I would like to think that is just what Hickory Run does to people.
Every time I go back to Hickory Run, I am filled with the same pride and love I have felt for the camping place since I can remember, and it is like I never left; knowing my Dad and his siblings grew up camping there also makes it even more special. My grandparents ashes are even spread there, so I really feel like they are with my family as we continue with this special tradition they started years back. And even though all of my cousins are starting to grow up, and the adults are becoming older, I have faith that this tradition will continue on. I cannot wait to hopefully bring my kids and all of my cousins’ kids back to Hickory run years from now. Camping means something different to each person, but for me, it is a really special tradition I will always hold close to my heart.