EMPORIA –Rural Olpe resident Linda Carson has a list of reasons why she doesn’t like camping. In a colorful, zany children’s book, Carson details those reasons.
In Carson’s book, "But I Don’t Want to Go Camping!", she shares a camping trip and why she doesn’t like it — bugs, weeds, dirt, bugs, weeds, bugs and dirt.
"My husband and 6-year-old grandson love to go camping," Carson said. "Years ago I tried it and came up with the many reasons why I don’t like it."
The book, although based on Carson and her husband, features two characters — a boy named Roger and a girl.
"When I look at tall grass and woodsy camping areas, all I can think about are mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers," Carson wrote in her book. "They all bite me and make me itch."
But Roger, the outdoor guru, does not seem to be bothered by any of the above things.
"Poison plants never seem to touch Roger, but even if they do, he does not itch!" Carson wrote in her book.
Colorful pictures of camping scenes, bugs and the characters splash each page of the book, adding to the humor of a camping trip from Carson’s perspective. The book was illustrated by Josh Finley, a local (Emporia) cartoonist. Finley gave bugs faces and characters charming personalities.
"I love the outdoors," Carson said. "But I don’t want to get too close to all this stuff."
Carson said the book just popped into her head one night. She’s wanted to write a book for years, she said.
Carson, who now substitute teaches for the Emporia School District and at Olpe, is past director of the Emporia State University Child Care Center and also had her own preschool for 20 years. She also served as an adjunct instructor for ESU for early childhood classes and taught at Dodge City Community College and Barton County Community College. She and her husband, who lived in Emporia for 30 years, returned to Emporia in 2007.