More than a few members of Saskatchewan’s population will be moving south this week, heading to Craven for the Craven Country Jamboree, a days-long country music festival.
Once at Craven, they will be setting up their tents and campers, and maybe even a blow-up swimming pool or hot tub, so they have a place to stay when the music is done. Or even a place to be while the music is on.
Others will be loading up the camper or packing the tent and taking off for lakes around the province, ready to set up somewhere in the bush and relax for a few days.
People here love to camp, it seems. At least, most of them do.
What is the allure of camping?
Is it the getting back to nature that we love? Perhaps that’s part of it. We feel more at peace, perhaps, when we can hear the squirrels running around in the bushes, or when we’re woken by the sounds of bird calls as opposed to an alarm clock.
Is it that we are connecting to a simpler way of life? Our pioneer ancestors didn’t go camping. They camped where they lived, where they fought the wilderness to carve out a life for themselves and their families.
They focused on the necessities like hunting and cooking and shelter. Their lives were fraught with all kinds of dangers, but were simple. Maybe that’s what we’re searching for when we camp. A simpler life. Where no one worries about what was posted on Facebook, or who got kicked off of “Big Brother.” The only thing you have to worry about is getting a fire going so you can roast a hot dog for supper.
That’s pretty relaxing.
At Craven, it’s less about getting back to nature, and more about having somewhere to lay your head after a long day of concert-going. But the people there seem just as happy, and as willing to go back year after year as those ones who spend their holidays lakeside.
It’s not difficult to see that life at the lake can, indeed be relaxing.
And summer is definitely time to take advantage of it in Saskatchewan.
So campers, enjoy it. Cook your marshmallows and bush pies. Sit around the campfire and tell stories and jokes. Eat sunflower seeds until you can no longer feel your tongue.
That’s what summer in Saskatchewan is all about.