"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee

view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Camping out for the 1812 Shoot Out, Sackets Harbor

1812 Battlefield watch tower
Every summer Sackets Harbor hosts the 1812 Shoot Out Lacrosse Tournament at the Battlefield State Historic site on the shores of Lake Ontario. Teams from all over western New York compete for trophies in several age brackets. My youngest played four games this past Sunday for the Canandaigua Braves.

lacrosse field view at 1812 Shoot Out
It's a long drive for us, over 100 miles, so we like to arrive a day in advance and camp out at nearby Bedford Creek Campground. While the younger kids were meeting on the Battlefield on Saturday (and dodging thunderstorms), we were en route under threatening skies.

Halfway there we found ourselves on unfamiliar roads with lightning all around us and heavy rains slashing our truck and trailer. The shoulder was narrow and visibility was minimal, so we crept along until we reached a gas station on the main road near Oswego. We had visions of a washed out camping trip, but the sky eventually cleared.

Our campsite was swampy but acceptable, and we didn't get stuck as we maneuvered our camper trailer into a tight spot, perfectly level -- fortunately! Minutes later, our team's coaches arrived to claim the spot right next to us, a nice surprise. The thunder and lightning returned briefly as the sun set, but that was the last of the bad weather.

Bedford Creek is a pleasantly crowded, inexpensive private campground. Amenities include a nice little camp store, a small marina, a nearby pizza shop and golf course. Most of the sites are occupied all season, but there's plenty of room for lacrosse families. Sites are available for everything from Class A motorhomes to tents, and include water and electric.

Sunday dawned sunny and breezy. Perfect lacrosse weather. We buttoned down our camp and headed for the battlefield site. My son's team won half its games, placing fifth overall in his division. Before we left we bought commemorative tee-shirts and drove downtown to the waterfront for a tasty late lunch.

downtown view of Sackets Harbor jetty

With the campground just minutes from the tournament site, we enjoyed a relaxing weekend. Although it never got hot, my boys both decided to brave the frigid lake waters for a swim before we broke camp on Monday. They couldn't resist. The trip back was uneventful, and we happy to return relaxed and well-rested.

Camping out is a great way to attend away games!

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How about you? Do you have a camping outing you'd like to share? If you have a few pictures, that's even better. If you'd like to submit your outing for posting, you can reach me via Comments or by using the link at the top of this page.

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