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Backyard Camping in the 'Boro with Critters and a Black Bear on the Loose

One mom's take on her night with a tent, bugs and the threat of a black bear.

One of my favorite parts of being a mom is enjoying those activities you most likely would not have done without children.

While I have photo's from childhood of me in a green vest and recall earning badges, selling thin mints and walking over a bridge I must say sleeping in the great outdoors with only nylon and a zipper between me and the critters was not high on my "to do" list.

I grew up with no male siblings or cousins, so when we found out there would not be any dolls or pink dresses in the near future during an ultrasound I was glad to have a few months to prepare for the unknown. My son entered the world and ended up loving all things involving wheels, rocks and dirt. In fact, one of his first phrases was "trash can car" on garbage pickup day!

We recently went to a camping expo at and after years of "mom can we please buy a tent" I finally caved, after all how hard could this camping thing be?

As soon as the tent arrived home it was non stop, "can we set it up now?"  We decided to give the tent a test run in the back yard.

The night began well enough with the neighborhood children gathering around the fire pit for s'mores, but then we wondered if we'd make it through the first hour in the tent.

First we heard what we think may have been bats lightly brushing against the sides of the tent while out hunting for mosquitoes. That no sooner stopped when we heard what sounded like a raccoon near the trash can. I joked to my son a few times that maybe it was a bear but assured him that bears do not live anywhere near us, boy was I wrong. We had about an hour of silence before the birds started singing rather loudly shortly after 3 a.m. After not a lot of zzz's and in dire need of a shower and an extra largecoffee we packed up and headed indoors. 

My husband called from the golf course later that morning and said "you are never going to believe it, but a customer saw a walk across Route One in South Attleboro early this morning." Later that day I read here that a and that the was trying to capture it in a populated neighborhood just a few miles away from us. 

I learned many things that night: air mattresses are not comfy, indoor plumbing is a wonderful invention, a blanket would come in handy even on a summer night, batteries can die when a flashlight is left on all night and the sun rises shortly after 4 a.m.!

I am not so sure I will be convinced to spend another night in the tent, but it was a night full of laughter and memories that will last a lifetime. I thank my friend Laurie for replying to my e-mails in the middle of the night, yes I cheated and had internet access in the tent.

Not sure what I will be talked into next time but boys sure do keep life interesting!



Stephanie July 16, 2011 at 12:04 PM
When I started this article, I was ready to ask you why you would be outside in a tent when you knew the bear was on the loose...good thing I read the whole thing! That must have been one heck of an adrenaline rush the next morning. Bet you didn't need the whole coffee. =)
Linda Faulkner July 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM
The bear probably heard the sound of you texting and ran away!
Deb Gould July 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM
Stephanie, You are so right! It did not really sink in until I read the story on Patch with a photo of the bear in a tree!
Krissy Donoghue July 17, 2011 at 02:48 AM
Deb, this is an amazing article; truly heartfelt as a mom!!! We love camping and the peace that it brings. Yes, boys sure do love it! Thanks for your humor, especially the timing with the black bear visit to the boro!
Deb Gould July 23, 2011 at 03:48 PM
Thank you Krissy! Next time may try a camper or cabin but boys sure are a lot of fun!

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