To those of you well acquainted with my preferences and habits, it won’t come as a shock that the label “outdoorsman” is a misfit for my persona. Don’t get me wrong—I bear no grudges against this labeling, or rather, the absence of it. I’m just not your typical wilderness enthusiast.

Indeed, nature holds a significant allure for me. I harbor a deep fondness for the great outdoors, and a raft of activities therein. Whether it’s casting a fishing line, conquering hiking trails, or basking in the peaceful aura of lakes and rivers, I am all for it. However, camping? That’s where my enthusiasm hits a roadblock.

The concept of camping to me is a cocktail of discomforts—a hotel of hardship. It’s like willingly surrendering to an existence devoid of certain bare necessities. Imagine yourself forced to grapple with the absence of a piping hot shower, surviving with a makeshift bathroom that lacks the dignity of plumbing, and being compelled to spend the night cradled in the narrow confines of a tent. Well, that is probably appealing to many…but that’s definitely not for me.

Despite my reservations, this past weekend brought an unexpected surprise. Our beloved friends, Luke and Mary, extended an invitation to join them for a weekend of raw, primitive camping at Billy Creek, Oklahoma. Needless to say, my initial reaction was anything but giddy excitement. Still, I decided to give it a shot, a nod to my adventurous spirit.

Now, if you were to ask me, how was it? I would say that it was as exhilarating as a frosty November camping trip could possibly be. And I mean this wholeheartedly, even when considering the grand finale of our trip—a colossal storm, featuring a symphony of thunder and lightning, that turned our humble tent into a miniature lake. It was far from an ideal situation, rendering the conditions quite harsh.

So, we resorted to spending our final night bundled up in the back of our Nissan Xterra, an ironic nod to our outdoorsy adventure. Sleeping in the cocoon of our vehicle, with the storm raging outside, was an unexpectedly rustic touch to our camping tale.

So, will this episode convert me into a fervent camper, ready to embrace the wilderness at a moment’s notice? I highly doubt it. But, if there’s one thing I am certain of, it’s that I will always leap at the opportunity to create memorable moments with cherished friends.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.