Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching

WiFi Anyone? Nature Girl in Training

So many times, I hear people talk about the “wonders” of the Great Outdoors and the magical sounds of nature. They rave about the healing effects of fresh air, the natural aroma of campfires and the sweet, soothing sounds of crickets chirping at night.

While I appreciate the beautiful lands, trees and waters that we are blessed to have, I’ve never been a nature-type girl. The thought of sleeping on the wet ground, fighting off nature’s creatures and cooking (yes cooking … ugh) over a campfire, makes me itchy and hungry.

With that said, it doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I’ve tried and I’ve failed miserably.

One of my first experiences with camping was in fifth grade after I begged my mom to send me to Camp Ondessonk in southern Illinois. The week of fun-filled activities was wasted on me. Nature was wasted on me, sadly enough.

Eager to be on my own with my friends, I packed my canteen, bug spray, sunscreen, a wireless curling iron and way too many clothes, ready for the adventure that nature had in store. Nature had plenty in store for me – just not what I was expecting.

Nature left me with a body full of bug bites because I was too cheap to buy a bed net for my outdoor bunk. Nature left me with a 4-inch scar on my shin after a bush found me head on during a nighttime espionage game. Nature left me with watery eyes, a sniffly nose and an allergic reaction that blew up my lips (did I mention that I’m allergic to grass?)

But, I continue to try. This summer, after a few weeks of my kids glued to computers, Nintendo games and television screens, I decided that they needed to experience a world without the conveniences we have come to rely on. I needed this break, too.

So, we’ve decided to pack up a few comforts from home and head to our family’s summer cottage in a remote community in Illinois a few days each week. No hot water, no internet service, rare instances of cell phone coverage and more importantly, no TV. Instead of playing Wizard 101 on the computer all day long and catching up on the latest episodes of Disney’s “Good Luck, Charlie,” the kids have been riding bikes, playing ping pong, putting together puzzles and learning how to play card games.

I love the peace and quiet, I love the freedom of not having to lock your front door, and more importantly, I love that I actually get quality time with my family – away from the distractions. I love that I can write while sitting on the front porch and catch up on reading that I’ve put off for too long.

Even though I had a rough adjustment to the lack of Internet service and the constant need for allergy pills and nose spray, I have learned that I just might be a little more of a nature girl than I thought. It does help, though, that no one is forcing me to cook.


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– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: June 30, 2010

© Shannon Philpott, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and shannonphilpott.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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June 30, 2010 - Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Sounds like a great investment of time. We have been keeping the kids busy with kickball and hiking this summer–but they do manage to sneak some video games in from time to time.

    Comment by Slamdunk | June 30, 2010 | Reply


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