A Call to Camping with RV Travelers Voice | Lippert Scout Spotlight
Posted: April 26, 2023
Categories: Travel & Lifestyle
As Lippert Scouts, Reagan and D’Anne Terrill, also known as the couple behind RV Travelers Voice, have a passion for the outdoors. For Reagan, that passion started at a young age, growing up on a farm in Southern Oklahoma. He felt the call of the wild pulling him to experience the wilderness and was ecstatic when his father allowed him to camp outside for the first time. Read on to get acquainted with the Terrills through Reagan’s “Call to Camping” story.
A Call to Camping with RV Travelers Voice | Lippert Scout Spotlight
By Reagan Terrill of RV Travelers Voice
My name is Reagan Terrill. My wife, D’Anne, and I are the names and faces (above) behind a personal Facebook blog, RV Travelers Voice, and a YouTube channel of the same name. While both of us have been camping for most of our lives, we began the blog and associated videos upon our recent retirement and subsequent purchase of a 2020 Forest River Wildwood 29VBUD, affectionately referred to as “Ethel.” Of course, we had to name our tow vehicle as well — a 2019 RAM 1500 we like to call “Fred.”
While we, accompanied by our cat, Boomer, have had many wonderful camping experiences with Fred and Ethel, I thought I would share with you a bit of our background. I’ll take you back to how I started out camping and share one of my own personal experiences — what I refer to as my “Call to Camping.”
My Passion for the Outdoors
My love for the outdoors was born in Jimtown, a small farming community in Southern Oklahoma. From birth until I struck out on my own after graduating college, my home was on a farm in Jimtown. Our farm consisted of three separate plots of land, named for their geographic locations in the community. The Jimtown Place was my grandfather’s and great grandfather’s farm, just east of the one and only store in Jimtown; the Leon Place was named for it being nearer to the small town of Leon than Jimtown; and the Home Place, as it was the land where our home was situated. The lands were made up of oak and cedar woods, thickets, pastures, pecan orchards and cultivated crops. Totaling about 1,000 acres, the farmlands were nestled into a large bend of the Red River, adjoining the river and bordering the nearby state of Texas.
I think it was those many nights lying awake in my bed, along with my three older brothers with whom I shared the bedroom, listening to the sounds coming from the endless darkness outside the nearby open window that piqued my curiosity and sense of adventure. That was my call of the wild.
The coyotes were always yapping and howling in the early evening hours, sometimes so loudly and clearly that I thought they might run up to the window and jump through it at any time. The monotony of constant, rhythmic crickets chirping and frogs croaking was often offset by the eerie and mesmerizing calls of the great horned owls. Even more thrilling, and some might call it “chilling”, were their piercing screeches echoing across the pecan orchard below our house. Oh, to be amid all that action! That longing led to my requests for Daddy and me to spend the night in the midst of it all and to go on an overnight campout.
My Wish Was Granted
In my younger years, those requests (more like pestering) were always met with a swift, “No.”
“Why in the world do you want to go sleep out on the ground when you’ve got a nice bed here? Besides, I had enough sleeping out in the elements on the cold, hard ground in the army,” Daddy usually retorted. It was for this reason that I was overjoyed and totally surprised when Daddy came to me one day in the middle of the summer and said, “Let’s get everything together. We’re going camping.”
It turns out that he and Booper, a friend and neighboring farmer, had worked up a plan for our families to camp out on the river behind Jimtown Place on the coming Saturday night. Everything was set in motion for a great evening with our whole family, along with Booper, Katherine and their children, Shawn and Darrin.
Daddy pulled one of our large flatbed cotton trailers down to the riverbank overlooking the Red River, with all the gear loaded into the back of the pickup. My brothers and I piled into the back of the pickup amongst all the gear. Booper and his family followed along the sandy pasture trail in their “hoopie” — a dilapidated 1960s station wagon with the roof cut off and the doors welded shut. Mottled blue and rust-colored with the muffler long since gone, it was a loud and ugly beast, but it got the job done, bringing their family to join us at the riverbank.
Going Snipe Hunting
The plan was to have an evening around the campfire, then sleep on pallets of quilts and blankets on top of the flatbed trailer. A fish fry of freshly caught catfish was on the menu for supper, including all the fixings. Daddy built a makeshift grill rack to go over the campfire, big enough to hold the large skillets of catfish and fried potatoes. Momma’s fried catfish was always a favorite of mine, but the meal she and Katherine cooked over the open fire that night was extra special.
After supper, Darrin, Tracy and I went exploring up and down the riverbank while everyone else hung out by the campfire. As nightfall set in, we made our way back to camp. My two oldest brothers, Tim and Rick, older by nine and seven years, respectively, decided it was time to go snipe hunting and volunteered to take Darrin, Tracy and me on the hunt for these fabled and elusive critters.
Rumor had it that snipes were quite plentiful amongst the salt cedars and willows. Tim just happened to have a toe sack and gave it to Darrin to bag the snipe. Rick led Tracy and I in one direction away from camp and while Tim led Darrin in the opposite direction, the intent being that Tracy and I would herd the snipe back towards Darrin and his awaiting bag. It sounded like a good plan.
Off we went into the thick groves scrub-brush and trees with only the light of the moon to guide our way. Somehow, both Tim and Rick seemed to get separated from us, the younger and eager snipe hunters. However, after wandering around in the dark for what seemed like hours, our eagerness to catch the elusive snipe had faded. The three of us finally made our way back to camp without a single snipe, carrying an empty bag as proof of our futile efforts. Go figure!
How My First Camping Trip Ended
Around 10 p.m., we began to settle in for the evening, staking out our own comfy spots on the trailer to sleep. However, something else settled in on top of us: swarms of mosquitoes. After about an hour of slapping and swatting the bloodsucking pests, Daddy’s booming voice broke the relative silence. He yelled, “Let’s go home!” He finally had enough. Both families loaded up everything and headed home.
My first chance at a full night out under the stars was cut short, but it wouldn’t be long until I got a second chance, courtesy of another neighbor and close friend, Derek.