We loaded up the van with an extra set of camp chairs, some food and headed to Thurmont, Md., to pick up our friends Chris and Ed for a day-trip adventure to Owens Creek Campground in Sabillasville, MD. We drove about 9 miles into the Catoctin State Park and found a small sign pointing to the campground. Another sign about prohibiting alcoholic beverages, which we remembered later as part of adventure. We were site 12, reserved the day before for $30. Little did we know that we could have parked in one of the picnic areas for free. The weather was a little overcast, threatening rain, and we had already beat the odds because it was supposed to start raining at 2:00 pm. It was already almost 3:00.
We wound through the woods on the narrow camp road past a small Chevy RV van under one of those portable carports and found our campsite beneath a canopy of trees. We began setting up our own little camp. I pushed the button to extended the awning, but so far no rain. We had a great time just conversing about the current political situation, God, old stories that each of us have probably heard many times before on some of our beach vacations, but love the retelling. Seems like they get better each time. And it finally started raining, but the tree cover was so massive that hardly any of the misty rain fell through to our canopy. Charlie was laying at Chris’ feet. And the day was actually playing out like a Norman Rockwell painting. Then I noticed Ed looking past me and I soon found out why.
From the mist in the direction of that Chevy van came a man into our camp. He was about 5’9” tall, maybe 250 pounds, 50 something years old, wearing a yellow T shirt stretching over his huge belly, barely touching the top of his wrinkled cargo shorts. A cigarette in his right hand and in his left hand a large imitation of a YETI tumbler that was partially clear. I could see he had beer in it. He introduced himself as “Glen the Camp Host” and he just wanted to drop by and say “hi.” He started telling us his “story” about how he saves $30,000 a year as a Camp Host camping and working out of his Chevy van year-round at various parks, and how Chevy vans were the best on the market. He asked if he could pet Charlie and used it as an opportunity to peek into our van and check it out—which I have since learned is a “no-no” in camp etiquette.
I asked him what he was drinking, and he proudly said it was an IPA, “never that Bud Light stuff.” I guess the Camp Host doesn’t have to abide by the state park rules. He said he was a writer and after spending about half an hour telling a few more details of his camp life, he said he didn’t want to interrupt our camping experience. He eventually excused himself and disappeared into the mist. Glen had given up the corporate life to do what made him happy, even though he seemed a little lonely. Proverbs 22:21 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Glen was a a little strange. But what would any campground be without the Official Camp Host? Especially, Glen the Camp Host, a nice enough guy with a good name pursuing his independence rather than silver or gold.