Camping an Easter tradition

Camping out for Easter is by far the best way to immerse in nature to its fullest.

Kaibo public beach

Anthony Campbell of George Town readies a tent at Kaibo public beach. His family and friends will spend Easter weekend in the North Side district.
Photo: Tammie C. Chisholm

I know because it has been a family and island tradition for as long as I can remember.

Some may say it is a lot of hard work; mosquitoes, lack of modern facilities and a slow sunburn.

But to my family, it is a time of bonding, catching up, meeting friends, surviving off the land, handing down traditions, learning to fish and, best of all, just enjoying the outdoors.

Even though the Christian community celebrates Easter as a religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God, families take this time out to meet loved ones, get together to cook, sleep, bathe, play games, consume bun and cheese and enjoy three days of frolicking in the sunny outdoors.

Nettie Levy, my grandmother, who lived to the ripe old age of 105, told my oldest sister Twyla Vargas that picnics began way back when there were a few slaves in Cayman.

The slaves were given days off on special holidays to be with their families and friends. They would celebrate with special musical songs and dance while calling on the spirits of their ancestors.

As time went by and Cayman was inhabited by the English, Spanish, Portuguese and others, they brought in religion and a different culture. This would change the holiday celebrations, which took place on the plantations or private homes, to the beaches.

One month before this Easter event there is nothing but talk of where the campgrounds will be.

Camp scouts capture and stake out claims. When a good site is spotted crude signs are erected, which mark the spot.

Good campsites are hard to find because the trees are still recovering from Hurricane Ivan.

The key to all this great outing is snatching the best campsite; one that gives clear access and view of the beach, shady trees and lots of fallen shrubby to build the campfire. This should be no problem as Ivan left plenty lying around.

There are, however a few things you should keep in mind when preparing to camp

To most of us tenting or camping out means roughing it. So bring along what is absolute necessary and you won’t have a lot of packing to do.

Prepare to catch your own lunch, do a little hiking, fishing, boating or reading and enjoy life away from it all.

Missing camp signs are part of the fun, as turning up at the wrong campsite only means that someone will offer a drink and point you in the right direction.

There are many activities going on during the day.

When night comes no one wants to hit the sack. When they do it is usually where they are at the time; in hammocks, on the ground, over coolers, in cars, or over domino tables.

When it comes time to pack up, everyone pitches in and plans for next Easter are talked about.

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