2021 Family Campout

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Our 32nd annual Family Campout is a wrap. With 7 siblings and all of our families, the annual camping trip has become the best possible way to get all of us in the same place at the same time most years.

As is our tradition, we met up at Apache Trout Campground in the Sitgreaves National Forest.

It is about a 4-hour drive for the AZ and NM families to meet there. (It’s a little further than that for some of us now.)

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This was our crew for this year – and there were 17 of us missing this time. Being part of a giant family sure is fun sometimes.

(Not that I ever could have convinced my 15 years old self that a big family was anything awesome when it meant sharing a bathroom with 7 other people.) I wouldn’t trade these siblings for anything now.

With being unable to meet last year (yet another thing we can blame on the mess that was 2020) it was truly wonderful to be together again at last.

And yes, we’re all hoping for an even bigger crowd next year.

At around 9,000′ elevation, the weather here is gloriously cool in the summer and we really enjoy it. Without fail we get rain while camping, sometimes more than others.

Over the years, we’ve had hail and flooded tents, and camping trips with near nonstop downpours. This year, we lucked into some pretty nice weather for most of the weekend.

The kids built forts, countless board games were played, along with softball, volleyball, and bocce.

Some of the group hiked while others enjoyed reminiscing over 30+ years’ worth of campout photo scrapbooks.

Campfires were enjoyed, s’mores were required, and late-night sing-alongs made the young crowd laugh hysterically while the older crowd (FYI that’s me now) happily made use of earplugs to get some sleep.

This is the roughest camping that we do – and let’s be honest, it isn’t terribly rough by most standards.

Some of us bring tents, others car camp, others have pop-up campers or RVs. And while my family arrived in our home-away-from-home, our crazy kids raced to set up their own tent and be independent for the weekend.

There isn’t cell service, electricity, or water hookups at the group campsite, but we have a blast nonetheless.

There’s something pretty awesome about being disconnected from the world outside our camp for a few days. I’m awfully glad that my mom has kept this tradition going strong for so many years now.

As always, there was an abundance of delicious food. With camp stoves and griddles, we take turns with the meals and manage to put together some tasty eats.

This year our meals were Carnitas Street Tacos, fully loaded burgers, Frito Pie, Pancakes with fried eggs, breakfast burritos (so fully loaded with sausage and bacon that my meat-loving kids were in heaven), and a great breakfast on the go for the last morning with yogurts, fruit, and muffins.

When Sean married into this family 23 years ago, I don’t think he saw all those years of tent camping in his future. He’s been a great sport through it all though. (Even if he will forever resist my attempts to get a serious photo with him.)

Now that we’re more “glampers” than campers, I can honestly say I’m already looking forward to next year. It sure is easier to “camp” when you’re waking up each morning in a comfortable bed, isn’t it?

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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