Thursday, May 22, 2014
About 20 families gathered over the weekend at Huntington Beach State Park for a bi-annual event called Palmetto Campout.
Outdoor activities included crabbing, salt marsh and surf seining, kayaking, beach combing and exploration, a wildlife walk, cooking over an open fire, and more.
Steve and Kira Roff of Pawleys Island brought their daughter, Bryn, their son, Wyatt, and two foreign exchange students, Jil and Luise, who have been staying with them, as well as Bryn’s friend Nadia, on the Campout.
“For us, this is an opportunity to teach kids about beauty we have here,” Kira Roff said.
“What a blessing to have this in our back yard, a place where people come from all over the world to visit.”
Jil said this was her first time kayaking and surf seigning. She was also excited to see alligators.
Luise said she enjoyed learning to survive without technology, since the Roffs asked the children to leave their phones behind.
“It has been fun doing things and not texting all the time,” she said.
Kira Roff was sharing with the children her recipe for beef, potato and vegetable stew cooked in aluminum foil over the fire.
“The secret is to use vegetable oil,” she said.
Lynette Rhyne of Murrells Inlet, who brought her daughter, Keeley and her son, Bennett, said this was their first time camping.
“It was really great on the beach, using a seign net to catch critters,” she said before dinner.
“Now, we are going to see what kind of pioneer men and women we are.”
Eric and Jodie Burkett brought their children, Olivia, Julia and Joshua to the Campout.
“This has been a great event,” Eric Burkett said.
“All of the park personell have been super helpful.”
Joshua said he enjoyed exploring the beach and finding “neat stuff.”
He even got to touch a cannon ball jellyfish, a type that does not sting. Paul Laurent with Black River Outdoors Center, which supplied kayaks and paddles for the eco-tour earlier that day, said the Palmetto Campout is all about getting kids outside.
“Kids don’t get outside enough,” Laurent said.
“That is the big thing.”
Park ranger Mike Walker, who was in charge of the Campout, said he was very pleased with the turnout for the latest Campout.
“Everybody seems to be having a good time,” Walker said during the event.
He said the next Palmetto Campout will be in October.
He also mentioned that the park also hosts a Halloween event with a haunted house and carnival games at Atalaya.
This year, there will be a haunted hayride and storytelling around a camp fire.
Tents, air mattresses and other camping supplies for the Palmetto Campout were bought with a grant received from International Paper Co.