BHAers Don't Camp

Guys, we need to talk. 

I was there. At Muster. Camping right beside you. 

Which is why we need to talk. 

You guys know you don’t have to camp to be in BHA, right? 

I’m serious. You can think places you can’t walk around in socks are not for you and still be a BHA member. You can think Gifford Pinchot and Bronson Pinchot are probably cousins because it cracks you up and still be a BHA member.  

And you can never, ever camp and still be a BHA member. 

Look at me. I’m a BHA member. A BHA lifetime member. And I had never camped in a tent before July’s Muster. 


I’d camped in a pop-up camper, which was enough of a nightmare. Living in a tent is much worse. First of all, how do you get dressed when standing up means flashing the entire campground through the mesh you keep forgetting is at the top of the tent? 

Second, how do you put on makeup without a mirror? I was having dinner with Land Tawney for crying out loud. For all I know, I was slamming back Kaaterskill IPAs with mascara running down my cheeks like I’d been dumped on prom night.  

And bathing. Wipes don’t count. And someone should put a sign on that little packet saying those wipes are some bad alchemy for everything below your belt and above your knees. 

Also, everyone at Muster was very cheerful. You were faking it, right? You don’t have to pretend you enjoy camping. I didn’t pretend at all and nobody has kicked me out of BHA. 

In fact, my misery sparked a lot of concern. There was the BHA staffer who offered me her shower. And my campground neighbors, who checked in with me every morning. When a snake joined us for the foraging walk, several members made sure I wasn’t dead. 

You’re a sweet bunch. Which is why I’m telling you we don’t have to camp. I’m taking care of you the way you took care of me.  

One other thing. I didn’t know that tent camping meant keeping your trash right in the middle of your tent. Where you’re living. Where you’re sleeping. Where you’re not doing anything else because you told your husband as long as you’re both bathing with wipes he has his dance space and you have yours. 

Sorry. That’s a Dirty Dancing reference. Dirty Dancing was set in the Catskills. I went the whole weekend of Muster without making a Dirty Dancing joke. This is the price we all pay. 

Next year, let’s do Muster in a hotel.  

And when you don’t have a rash from using wipes in places you really shouldn’t have, you’ll thank me. 


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