July 6, 2012

A Sister Campground Tradition

The return to school following summer break always started the same way during my childhood days. After the initial attendance, announcements, and Pledge of Allegiance, our new teacher would deliver our first homework assignment - usually a written essay, which would later be read aloud to the class. The topic was always some variation of "How I Spent My Summer Vacation."

My essays were always the best.
*written in playful arrogance*

I wasn't the best writer in the class, but my tales of summer vacation received complete attention from my classmates. Why? Because each summer my parents would take our family on a long and often unusual road trip, camping our way across the country while experiencing a variety of cultures, climates, landmarks, and adventures.

Some of my greatest childhood memories are from those family camping trips.

A few family traditions were born along those vacations too. For instance, french braiding in almost as expected as s'mores for a camp ground activity between my sister and I. What began out of necessity for yucky camping hair soon became a fun sister bonding activity. 

Here's a picture from an old scrapbook showing us eating breakfast in the mountains. Notice the two the elk in the background grazing very near our camp. My sister is on the far right, sporting a double braid. (I am sitting on the opposite side of the table.)

After awhile, we became more creative in our technique moving from single, to double, and even triple braids. Sometimes we'd intentionally braid it wet, just to let it dry and enjoy the fun wacky volume when the braids were removed.

Last year I had the joy of camping with my sister again. It was just for two nights, and of course we had to continue our hair braiding tradition. This time my sister really upped the ante, asking me to do a spiral braid encircling her scalp.
My lovely sis
The braid began above her left ear, hugged her face line, rounded under the bottom and circled around and around.

Completing her spiral braid was tedious and hand cramping process. I'm so glad I don't braid hair for a living!

We then swapped places and my sister french braided my hair. I  got a double braid as my hair was too short for "the spiral". Even my aunt got in on the action during this mini family reunion!

No matter how many years pass, I will never be too old for our silly sister tradition. I love you sis!

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