The Hampton at Long Branch


by Cameron McCoy  

Shortly after our arrival at Long Branch State Park, we realized we still needed shelter from the cold nights. As we arrived at our campsite individuals began to unpack their hum-drum sleeping arrangements and shelters. As I approached the bed of the truck I noticed a bag that wasn't quite like the others; it had more character (and less parts). As I hefted the nylon shelter out of the truck something in the weight of the bag told me that it held more than metal shafts, and nylon material. It held something special. I emptied the contents of the green sack onto the ground and found to great displeasure that quite a few pieces were missing, along with a tag that read: "Incomplete Tent, Extra Parts".


As I stared at the various pieces of random tents, Captain William arrived on the scene, anxious to construct a work of art. With Gorilla Glue tape in hand he grinned and exclaimed "We are gonna build one fine tent outta this yet!" Something in his excitement gave me the confidence I was previously lacking as I picked up aluminum rods and began to help where I could. Shortly thereafter Cap'n Will had constructed the skeleton of The Hampton. That was when I began to realize what a wondrous structure she was bound to become. Soon we began to pull up the nylon walls, and with a few sticks, and more Gorilla Tape we had constructed the Hampton. But still, it needed something more for the frightful storm that was to come. I sighed a bit, once again succumbing to defeat, but once more Cap'n Will had a plan. "Never fear, for we have this blue tarp here!" Once again he began to construct while I lent a hand where I could, and soon a rain break was fashioned onto the roof of The Hampton. We stood back to admire the work; a bright blue tarp that could make the cleanest ocean look brown, neon orange para-cord that was stronger than steel, and more pizzazz than the other tents could hope to possess.


Cap'n Will and I exchanged a look of approval and I thanked him for his help. As I crawled through the opening of the Hampton it filled me with a warmth and comfort I knew no other tent could give me. As the other members looked at The Hampton's rustic characteristics with disdain and abandoned me to my peaceful seclusion, I enjoyed The Hampton even more. As I lay down upon my sleeping pad and pulled my sleeping bag over me I heard the storm crash above, but I knew the Hampton was built better than other tents. I slept better that night than any infant ever has in the best crib money could buy. I'm so glad The Hampton was mine!