"My folks" want me to bring my PUP!

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by sandyaker, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. sandyaker

    sandyaker Rock Hill, SC

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    For those that don't know me, I work in the recreation field programming activities for folks with disabilities. Most of the people I work with are mentally disabled. Although most have some sort of physical disability as well. We run everything from our local Special Olympics events to arts and crafts programs to CAMPING! Yes, I sometimes get paid to camp!

    Anyway, to the reason I'm posting...
    We are taking a group of mentally disabled adults camping in a couple of weeks. Our trips have always been with tents at established campgrounds. (Read that as..the girls have to at least have a bathroom.) I few of them have been bugging us about our next trip so we scheduled the one in a couple of weeks.
    Now for the funny part.
    Since I've now bought a PUP since our last trip together (and none of them have seen it), a few of them are now bugging me to take my PUP on this trip. They don't care about sleeping in it, as they know it would not hold everyone. We usually take around 12-15 people on the trips. They just want me to bring it so they can see it set up and see what the big deal is. It will cause a little trouble with logistics as I have to transport all of them and their gear in one of our department buses but I think I can work it out by taking the PUP down the day before and returning to get them. Of course, I will have to reverse that on the way back by bringing them home and then going back to get the PUP.

    It will cause a little extra work to bring the PUP but I think it may be worth it. I can see a couple of them really getting into the whole PUP thing.

    Scott
     
  2. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    Where you taking 'um Scott?
     
  3. sandyaker

    sandyaker Rock Hill, SC

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    We're just taking a one nighter [:(] down to Chester State Park.
    Normally, we try and do at least a two night stay but we just couldn't get it together with everyone's schedule. Since it's just for one night, we're also staying a lot closer to home than we normally do.
    Scott
     
  4. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    Ever go to Kings Mountain State Park?
     
  5. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    If you don't mind the extra work.....I think it'll be a real treat [A]
     
  6. samtgrizz

    samtgrizz New Member

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    Take the PUP. It will be a treat and also will give you extra facilities and make it easier to set things up.
     
  7. rmassing

    rmassing New Member

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    Just watch out. It's a big difference from sleeping on the ground. You might like it better and find you want to do more camping.

    It is a lot nicer when everyone is set up around you and you can keep a better eye on the area. And it gives a better area to wait out a rainstorm.

    I hope you have a great time. I know I did when I took 12 seventh graders on a Sunday School camping trip.
     
  8. sandyaker

    sandyaker Rock Hill, SC

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    Yeah bud121156, we've been to Kings Mtn. S.P. As a matter of fact, we went there for one of the first camping trips I did with them. It's also really close (like Chester S.P.) so we had chose it in case things did not go well. It was another one of our one nighters. That was the first trip we had ever taken some of the girls and some of them had never even been in the woods. I think that is one of the underlying reasons I like to take them camping so much. So many of the folks I work with have never been out of their hometown. You should see some of them when they see something like Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock or Lake Jocassee.

    One funny story from that Kings Mtn. trip (and there were quite a few) was about the girls going to the bath house at night and finding a really big spider. They came out screaming and before I could start explaining that they needed to be quite so as not to disturb the other people in the campground, one of the other female campers from another site came over and started talking to them and basically said they understood and that they often scream in the bath house. I thought that was pretty cool for a stranger to come over and tell the girls it was OK to scream and that they understood. Most of the time people just kind of stand back and I think they wonder "what's wrong with those people." I think that lady learned she had more in common with them than she ever knew. The next day the lady actually stopped a couple of times and talked to the girls.

    rmassing, I already know I like the PUP better. I've actually already used it a few times on some personal camping trips. This will just be the first time I'm going to try and take it while I'm "working." I'm just going to have to be careful and not let any of them think it's for them or they'll be trying to kick me out of my own PUP.
     
  9. wilssm

    wilssm New Member

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    As a person who has a mentally challenged brother in law, I know from experience that this will be a real treat for them. For me this would be a no brainer, the extra work would be worth it for all the joy it would bring.
    wilssm
     
  10. snipehunter

    snipehunter New Member

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    Hello from a fellow 'hillian. We live in Rock Hill too and have spent many nights in Kings Mountian and Chester State Park. We also like Cheraw State park for another close one.

    Have you ever been to Lee State Park? We are thinking about a trip down there soon.
     
  11. sandyaker

    sandyaker Rock Hill, SC

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    Hello fellow 'hillian!

    We've thought about Cheraw S.P. before but ended up going toward the mountains when we looked at the distance/time to Cheraw. Since it's a little over 2 hours to Cheraw, it's hard to talk them out of driving a little extra to get to places like Devil's Fork S.P., SC or Davidson River in Brevard, NC. I know a little more about the mountain areas and all there is to do so it's hard to not look that way most of the time.

    As far as Lee S.P., I've driven through there once but that was a long time ago when I was trying to visit every state park in SC. I don't think I could really give you any good info on it.

    Scott
     
  12. snipehunter

    snipehunter New Member

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    We have a map of the SC State parks and are wanting to visit all of them as well. We mark each visit with a push pin on the corkboard.

    Good luck camping!
     
  13. sandyaker

    sandyaker Rock Hill, SC

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    Well, we just back from our overnighter at Chester State Park. For those of you not familiar with Chester State Park, it is a nice little state park located close to the town of Chester. It has a small campground that was pretty well maintained. The sites and bath house were clean. The park's day use side is very popular with the locals. (The park ranger told me they had every picnic shelter rented all weekend.) About the only complaint, if you want to call it that, is that some of the site are a little too close together. There are some that are really good but there are also some that were kind of tight.

    I did end up taking my PUP and I'm glad I did. A couple of them we mesmerized watching it go up. By the time I was done setting it up I'm sure most were thinking "How did something so big come out of the little trailer?" They had some interesting looks.

    After it was set up, everyone ended up inside the camper for a little while. I had 11 people in one PUP. They were all just curious what it was like. A few even kidded that they were going to kick me out and they were going to sleep there. A couple were surprised to see that there was a sink and a dining table inside.

    After we were settled and ate lunch, we took a short hike over to the day use side of the park and looked around. We showed them the different picnic shelters, the lake, and the boat rentals. The park even has an archery range. We took a moment to show them the primitive group site as well. Most of them decided that they like the regular campground better. I don't think they were too cool with the idea of not having a bath house.

    After our walk, most everyone crashed in their tents and took a nap. A few others walked around the campground. I let the ones that wanted to walk around the campground go on their own. The campground is pretty small so I could pretty much see them most of the time. I have to admit it was interesting watching them from a distance and seeing them react to some of the stuff they saw. It was more interesting watching some of the other campers reactions as "my folks" made their way around.

    At dinner time we started a fire and cooked hot dogs and smores. After a short time just sitting around the fire, most everyone went to bed early.

    This morning we woke up to a pretty chilly morning. I don't know what the actual temperature was but it was cold. I was wishing I had brought a better sleeping bag. After a quick breakfast, we packed up all of the tents. Which I must say went pretty quick and smooth. Some of my guys a starting to really remember/figure out how to get everything packed back up. They did a pretty good job of getting all of the tents back into their bags. (I know a lot of non-disabled people that can't do that.) After we were packed up, we loaded everyone on the bus and returned home.

    In the parking lot while everyone was being picked up almost everyone of the participants told us, "Thanks. I had a great time." Or they at least told their parents who in turn told us. I tell people all of the time that "Thank You" is a very powerful statement and that sometimes it makes or breaks whether or not we do a program again.

    Anyway, in short, everyone had a good time. They were very interested in the PUP. And...the PUP will be making some more of our camping trips.

    Scott
     
  14. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    Good deal, Scott ........ glad everything went well, and y'all had a trip to remember!
     
  15. wardog

    wardog Member

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    Glad to hear you had a great trip and it work out well.
     
  16. Marc S.

    Marc S. New Member

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    Sounds like a great trip. Hope they get out with you again.
     
  17. sandyaker

    sandyaker Rock Hill, SC

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  18. slyspyder

    slyspyder Lake Saint Louis, MO

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    Those are truly beautiful pictures. That is awesome work that you do with them! I am sure you feel even more blessed than they do, but they are very lucky to have you for these activities.

    Beautiful pictures!
     
  19. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    Awesome photo album, Scott!
     
  20. samtgrizz

    samtgrizz New Member

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    Hope the PUP worked well as your camping headquarters. Thanks for sharing the pics.
     

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