Experience 5 of 52: The Great American Backyard Campout (GABC)

The “Great American Backyard Campout” is sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation as a way to “set an example for America’s kids that will get them excited about the outdoors and help them embrace an active, healthy outdoor lifestyle.”   Although admittedly unintentional, the stars aligned and we eagerly participated in the GABC while visiting the Frick House, located in Sykesville, MD.  Resplendently hosted by the Frick family themselves, our GABC adventure included four adults and seven children camping out in three tents on the estate property backing to a pristine forest preservation area.  Mr. Frick impeccably grilled the meats while Mrs. Frick entertained both children and adults alike.

As would be expected of someone of Mrs. Frick’s pedigree, the children were entertained with numerous games that resulted in prizes that would adorn hand-made sashes provided to each child.  Games and gifts splendidly designed to excite the children and ensure a marvelous time guaranteeing this GABC would be remembered for years to come.

The highlight of the night occurred as folks were regrettably (for the evening was coming to an end) retiring to the plush accommodations for the evening rest.  Shortly after descending into their pint-sized two-person tent quarters, Mr. and Mrs. Frick (who had already bedded down for the evening with their 60 pound Golden Retriever) were joined in their Lilliputian accommodations by two of their three charming and delightful children.  This made for quite a comical scene as you might think of the 1950’s of 1960’s era phone booth stuffing fad.

What did we learn from this cultural experience?  We learned during the GABC that Mrs. Frick will soon be famous not just for her and Mr. Frick’s ability to squeeze many living creatures  into the smallest possible tent, but more importantly for her invention of the Head Wedgie – an ingenious device that should be an accessory for children and adults alike.  “As Seen On TV, the Head Wedgie provides lateral support for the head and neck. Simply slip it over the head rest, nonslip back, weighted bottom with brace for a secure and universal fit.”

Although it is impossible to express every bit of fun we had during the GABC, we all had an incredible, memorable evening with the Frick Family and are humbled to have been hosted so admirably at their estate home.  If you have the pleasure of participating in this event in future years, I would, however, recommend bringing your own tent or at least select a tent separate from the Frick family as they tend to try to jam pack their tent with as many living, breathing, lovable creatures as possible even if the tent was only made for two.

Time Spent: About 18 hours
Cost: Priceless

Categories: Educational | Leave a comment

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