Last time we visited Amish Indiana, we stopped to see our original Amish friends, as we often like to do. Glenn was out in the fields, so we hopped in the Jeep with his wife Ruth in the back seat and drove out there, down the long, sandy lane to the far end of their deep and narrow acreage. Glenn took a break from his corn-planting, gave the five-horse team of Belgians a rest, and we walked back into the woods, where Ruth wanted to show us something.
On the way, Ruth told us that their two youngest sons had always liked to camp out in these woods on a summer night with their friends. They had been doing this for a number of years—but this year, the older brother was sixteen, had a buggy and horse at his disposal, and was old enough to be ‘running around’ socially. He had other interests now, and no longer camped out in the woods with his friends. But his younger brother planned to do so that very weekend, and had been working with his friends to upgrade the site.
A few minutes into the woods, we saw this wonderful picture. Is there any young boy who likes the outdoors—Amish or “English”—who wouldn’t love this? The boys had cleared an area in the woods, made a fence using a circle of trees, and set up a campfire pit with a cooking area over it. In the right foreground you can see their firewood supply, cut and stacked. Ruth told us that they planned to come out that afternoon to set up a tent and make other final preparations.
But, boys will be boys… We asked Ruth what the boys would be cooking over the fire the next evening. She smiled and said, “They told me that what they really wanted was for me to heat up a pizza and bring it out, and they would keep it warm over the fire.” Fourteen-year-old boys may like to camp out, but that doesn’t mean they know how to cook!
The Amish being a very social people, the plan was that the boys’ parents would come along as well, and while the boys camped out in the woods, the parents would socialize at the main house. It sounded like a great plan to me. I hope they had good weather!