POTF 2007

POTF 2007
Originally uploaded by thewyckoffs.

This weekend was the 14th year of the annual “guys campout”, also known as “Piss Out The Fire”*.

The whole shebang started in the spring of 1993 (our senior year in high school) when Clint, Kurt, Chris, Hay, Schultz, and myself went on a campout to Danville, IL during our spring break. We had such a great time that we’ve done it every year since (with the exception of 2006, and also of 2005, but that was considered “okay” since the whole group got together for a mass 30th birthday celebration).

The guys who went this year were Hay, Jason, Clint, Schultz, and myself. And that’s pretty much been the “core” of this campout. We’ve had some supporting players along the way (Clint’s brother has come a few times, and Jenkins actually made it once), but the five of us have been at almost every single campout (Jay missed the very first one, but that’s been the ONLY one he’s missed. I missed 2002 and 2004 but that’s all). Even though he lives in Austin now, Clint still flies into Chicago for POTF.

Times have changed for all of us. We’re all married now, and Clint and Jay both have kids (Hay is going to be a father next month too!) but some things do not change.

This is a group of guys that I see about once a year. Jay and I talk a little more often than that, but otherwise, this group is a once a year occurrence. But the great thing is, that does not matter. Yes. we do our fair share of nostalgic remembrances of campouts past, but we also build new memories every time we go. Our conversations have changed as we’ve grown older, but we have all grown closer. These are guys who I feel 100% comfortable sharing everything with, and having no fear of being judged, rejected, or laughed at.

As we all grow older, we have fewer and fewer new friends. I just think that’s a function of growing up – it’s normal and it happens. But that makes it all the more special to have a core group of people who, while I may not call them up on a Thursday night to have a beer, I know that I can trust, depend on, and most of all, eat Swiss chicken out of a dutch oven with.

I can’t believe that next year will be the 15th anniversary of this trip.

And I can’t wait until the 30th.

* – The actual urination on the fire has only happened about once, and it was a long time ago. And let me assure you – it’s a BAD idea.

~ by Matt Stratton on October 16, 2007.

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