Pre-holiday Escape Camp Out 2011

Hillsborough River State Park

Benjamin Dehart is the perfect campfire entertainer!

Well its December and it’s time again for pre holiday escape campout each year we get together a week before Christmas and take a few days to spend time with our immediate family and say get back to what is important.  The holidays can be a very stressful time in can pull families apart at a time when they should be closest together.  By planning for this event in advance our participants have their shopping done a week in advance, and can concentrate on their loved ones before visiting relatives come in and require so much attention.

December Campfire

Camping in December provides for the most perfect of whether.  Our annual camp out held at Hillsborough River State Park near Thonotosassa Florida provides wonderful opportunity for families to be at ease with each other and to share some one on one time.  This year’s group was quite eclectic we have people from many different walks of life get together and enjoy some of nature’s wonderful gifts.  Family spent time fishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows, decorating cookies and just spending time around the fire together.  This week in parents learned new things about their children, and children learn more things about their parents as they spent time having conversation together.  Even their furry four legged friends got spent time playing and enjoying nature.

Heading tot he trail head!

We had participants from all over Central Florida command for this event.  The best part was that everyone arrived as strangers and left dear friends.  It was wonderful to see children from many walks of life play together.  Conversations around the fire cover many topics including history, work family, and desires for our children’s future.  All of us are the same we all want to say some of our natural resources for our children.  To be able to introduce to the children and to share our love of the outdoors was an added blessing.  We all learn from each other this weekend.  We all spent time closer to our families and realized once again the importance of loving one another.  We’re all family, though we come from different places, and have different history.

Blue Bell's First Tatoo

We had many laughs and Blue Bell even got a butterfly tattoo.  Wrangler and Cruiser I think may have been jealous.  The children enjoy the crafts, and the parents may have even enjoyed a nap are two.  The orange marmalade and coconut coated of marshmallows roasted over the fire or an interesting treat.  Paul even got to have is roasted banana boats.  I am sure Abygail will not remember this first campout as she attended still in mommy’s tummy but we will see her on another event soon!

The kids had fun decorating Christmas cookies at camp

Special thanks go out to Ben and Bonnie Dehart for the wonderful entertainment and food that they provided at no charge for our group.  Ben’s tunes around the fire were very welcomed in nine shore and fellow campers from neighboring campsites made a special trip past our site just to hear him sing.

Ben and Wrangler

This was Max’s first campout with us but already he’s helping to plan more trips for the summer and will be a walk and asset.  His enthusiasm and knowledge of the outdoors began as a young boy scout and has stayed with him and carried him through “eagle scout” status.

Everyone enjoyed roasting marshmallows

So all my new friends I thank you for taking time away from your holiday to spend some time in the woods with us.  See the joy you share with your family warms my heart even on chilly nights.  We hope to see you again next year.

For more information on Hillsborough River State Park please visit:

For more information on our pre-holiday escape campout 2012 please visit:

For additional photographs from this year’s event please visit:

For more information on Ben Dehart “The Cracker Tenor “please visit his web site at:

About notacluegal

Jeanene was born in Pittsburgh, PA. As a young child her family was very active in the outdoors. Things changed when her parents decided to travel down different paths in life and with that decision so went many of the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Being lucky to live in the suburbs Jeanene always had a backyard to play in and loved being outdoors. As the years passed she took every opportunity to be outdoors. She bought land in Tennessee and as a single mom moved her young daughter to the mountains. The were many life lessons learned on that mountain. There was no plumbing on the property – or even a house, but that did not stop her. She learned to live off of what was available and built her own cabin from the trees on her property. Those were rough years but the most rewarding. Now Jeanene resides in Tampa, Fl. and works as an office manager full time….but still yeans to be outdoors. Jeanene started “Not a Clue Adventures” to teach everyone she could how wonderful the outdoors are! That camping and fishing and hiking can be done by everyone and at many different levels. Single mom’s no longer have to be afraid to take their sons and daughters outdoors. By working with young couples, single parents and even seniors, she gets to teach others about her love for the outdoors and hopes to open their eyes to new adventures. In 2009, Jeanene completed certification as a Leave No Trace Instructor. She also works closely with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Florida State Parks. Jeanene is also certified in First Aid/Adult CPR.
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