Stout Tent Stories: Family Camping Glam Bake
Guest Post By: Jessica Medeiros
The trip to Bull Point takes us through the coastal downtown of Jamestown, RI: ice cream shops and charming storefronts overlooking boats bobbing on their moorings in the Narragansett Bay. The anticipation of the floppy-haired preschoolers in the backseat builds with each winding curve, tiny feet pressing against seatbacks.
Passing Fort Wetherill State Park, the air changes, the briny mix of seawater and gasoline cooling under the shady smell of pines. The asphalt gives way to gravel, and we rumble further from the orderly awnings of town in favor of something a little wild.
The final uphill climb makes the transmission whine, and we pull into a clearing, protected on three sides by brambles, firs, and brush. Sparkles of sun-spotted ocean peek through the branches, and we know that we have arrived.
The kids explore as we prepare the campsite; our home away from home is in many ways more comforting than our house in the city. The technology, calendar, chores, and distractions fall away as we reduce our world to what fits in this golden-hued tent. The boys explore every inch of our new dwelling, playing on the bed like puppies until they finally rest, panting, peaceful enough to notice the graceful shadow of a grasshopper that has also made himself right at home, sunning on the outside of the tent.
At times, dinner is mostly perfunctory. In this seaside meadow, as the sun settles towards the horizon, we work together to make our feast. The table is set and reset by tiny hands, logs and kindling gathered, corn husked, the fire is built, stoked, and stared at. We fill the waiting time with music, stories, and enjoyment of the view and each other.
The work has created a deeper hunger, each bite feeling richer and more satisfying. Chowder, campfire, rockweed, lobster, sea breeze, and late summer corn cause us to linger over the table in a way so unlike our usual hurried mealtimes. Side plates and ceremony are a thing of the past as we hunker over a skillet of blueberry pie, licking our fingers for the last sweet and buttery bites.
As the navy blue of night seeps into the sky, any strangeness of sleeping in this clearing is held at bay by the soft light in our tent, the orange blaze of our fire as the marshmallows turn a toasty brown. After the last s’more, a lonely gull flying overhead, we snuggle in for a final story with heavy eyes and full bellies.
Want to plan your own extraordinary family camping (glamping!) adventure? Check out our rental program to rent a Bell Tent or sign up for our emails to receive offers on our bell tents!