Before Blogs, There Were Diaries

People ask me all the time: “How did Outdoor Afro begin?”

Quite frankly, it began in the pages of a diary I wrote up when I was about 9,  and continued sporadically into other diaries over the years, until I became a young adult, when I discovered newsgroups, email lists, then finally blogs.

Here is the start of an entry that painstakingly detailed a Girl Scout camping trip at Hidden Villa Ranch, captured in vivid, youthful detail after arriving home. Click for larger view:


I wrote, “It was so fun. It was the very first camping trip I ever had. When we first got there, we had a big argument over cabins and we finally got a cabin! I think our cabin was the livest [sic] one of all…”

The entry goes on to share about our various adventures on the trip, such as night time walks to gaze at stars, doing “capers”, the food, and the songs we sang. I remember it all vividly.

The six-page cursive-written entry ends with plain-text song lyrics from our trip and me lamenting , “wish I could go back for another night.” Click for larger view:

What a difference camping makes in the life of a child.

What a difference it made for me.

Did you keep a journal or a diary as a child? What sparked your passion for the outdoors?

7 Thoughts on “Before Blogs, There Were Diaries”

  • I want to know more about the capers! I would also like to know (in nice round numbers) approximately how many Hello Kitty diaries have ever been sold. It is fascinating to me that the brand is still so popular. Thanks for sharing, bet you were a really cute kid!

    • LOL – “capers” was the term used to define “chores” in our Girl Scout Troop. But honestly, I have not heard the term ONCE since that time!

      As for Hello Kitty, I buy that stuff for my daughter, with no questions asked. You’d think it was an educational product!

      Thanks for chiming in!

  • I just had to give you a virtual hug 🙂 I enjoyed the blog post. It made me think of my very first experience outdoors. I remember not knowing what to think and totally falling in love with the elements. There was a meteor shower my very first camping trip which also made it very memorable. I love you and will call you later this week.

    Kimmy B.

    P.S. This incessant need to blog is still nagging me & I’ve started over once again.

    • Hi Kimmy! I am so glad you are blogging again! Hugs back to you! I am so glad you game by to give some comment love! Yes, those early camping experiences can change lives. I wonder how mine might have turned out had I not had the chance to experience wild spaces as a child.

  • I kept a Hello Kitty journal, too. And I still have it (light blue cover, no lock). Now I keep a journal that’s just for outdoor thoughts. I take it with me camping, hiking, etc. It encourages me to slow down even more and reading it makes me happy when I’m stuck indoors or just need to remember something good.

    I was also a Girl Scout and remember Ms. Wilson taking us Pasadena suburban kids into the woods. I don’t know if that’s what sparked my interest in the outdoors, but I’ll always be grateful for her enthusiasm.

    Thanks for the memory lane trip Rue.

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