Camping at Evans offers a Silver lining for the family
By Fay Knight email@example.com THE Silver Sands Caravan Park at Evans Head may have had the odd 'unsociable' incident over the years, but nothing would make Raelyn Lowbridge cancel her family's annual holiday booking.
"I've been coming here (from Lismore) since I was about nine. My own family have spent every Christmas here on this site since Rene was six months old," Raelyn said. Her oldest daughter, Rene Lowbridge, is now 21 and has just finished university.
"There was some stupidity last year, and thank god no one was hurt, but things can happen anywhere.
"I'm sure things have always happened, probably even back to my grandparents' era, but it probably wasn't reported then."
Raelyn, her three daughters and 13-year-old son, and other relatives, were relaxing at their tent which overlooks the river.
"I live on the Central Coast now," explained Kara Lowbridge, who is 20.
"I work there and save my holidays up so I can have three weeks here."
"As they get older they bring their boyfriends," said Raelyn, who has five children.
"All the men are up at the club to see the cricket." Raelyn even made it the year youngest daughter, Bess, now eight, was born.
"Bess was eight days old when we arrived for our holiday," Raelyn said.
"I wasn't going to miss it!"
The tent and annexe are organised from years of practice and while the sleeping arrangements are fairly basic, the camaraderie of being with family, relatives and friends more than makes up for the lack of luxuries.
"We set up before Christmas and bring all the presents, and there's a lot of present-wrapping on Christmas Eve," Raelyn said.
"We had Christmas at home a couple of times, but the children said it was boring. They like to show their friends and cousins what they got."
Rene and Kara said they enjoyed having the time to catch up with friends they might only see once a year. "They might live in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast, but they're here every year," Kara said.
For Raelyn, the camping holiday has meant the chance to really relax, knowing she is surrounded by people who are looking out for each other.
"Even when the children were little I didn't have any problems," she said.
"When my older son was about three he used to go off and have Coco Pops for breakfast with an old man nearby, and then he'd say he was going to have lunch at so and so's he'd pick and choose according to what they were eating!"