San Onofre - Ben’s Memorial Camping Trip
(with post-event picture and reports)

invitation from Tiffany:

You are invited to Ben Horne's second annual YAG San Onofre/ San Clemente camping trip.

What: A camping trip for Newman center YAGs and friends of YAG

Where: San Mateo Campgrounds. San Onofre, CA

When: Friday, Sept 14th  3pm to... Saturday,  Sept 15  1pm

Cost: $10 donation/ person (all profits will go straight to Ben's selected charities)

       Please include details such as tent and supplies that you can share (i.e. fire wood, cooking supplies, sleeping bags, surfboards)

       food will be pot luck- so please sign up for something that you can share with the group for Friday dinner/ snacks and Saturday breakfast.

post-event picture and report from Huy:

The Summer of 2012 was the third year in which the Young Adult Group at UCSD Newman Center Catholic Community has put on a beach camping trip. Previously, they had been ways to camp out by the beach, surf, eat a lot, and hang out toward the end of Summer before the school year started up again. Ben had planned the previous two, and he had reserved the campsites for this Summer also.

Ben's cousin Crescent, his wife, and two kids came. On the way there, their surfboards flew off the car and disappeared somewhere along I5 freeway! They were driving Ben's old, blue, Subaru Wagon with those distinct bumper stickers - KTRU, "Anti Popo, Pro Papa", etc.

I rode my bike there from work. I had to ride through Camp Pendleton in the dark, lost my way a few times, but I ultimately found our camping spot. By the time I got there, people had eaten already but they were sitting around the campfire talking with Crescent about Ben - a different side a Ben that most of us had never heard about. Cousin Ben.

In the morning, we snapped a picture, and headed back. I rode back to Carlsbad. It was in the 90s even near the ocean, and over 100 when I was on the base and inland a little. Sitting around the fire with Ben's cousin sharing memories was fun. Continuing a tradition that Ben started two years ago felt like we were Maintaining the Light in our own small way.

post-event report from Anne:

On September 14, the Young Adult group gathered for the third annual San Onofre Camping trip. The trip was organized over the last three years by Ben Horne so this year's trip was renamed the Ben Horne Memorial camping trip.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet so...let me prove to you that the trip paid fitting tribute to our beloved friend. Perhaps most importantly the trip was inclusive of a divers group. Particularly special was the surprise of Crescent, Ben's cousin, and his family (Tonja, Nolan, and Tori). In Ben style, Nolan was hard at work on a hammock which I am convinced he 100% believed that he could build and which he was repeatedly climbing a tree to perfect, without complaint. Crescent's family also showed up in Ben's car, with its "Impeach Big Brother" and other classic bumper stickers.

After arriving, everyone headed to the beach to watch the sunset. I was among a few stragglers but still managed to fit in the 2-mile hike to the each by headlamp light. The latest arrival was also the most impressive. Huy rode his bike 35 miles from Carlsbad; he also rode back the next day in heat that was over one hundred degrees!! If that's not tribute to Ben's desire to protect the environment, I don't know what is!

We ate assorted foods around the campfire. I most remember a lot of cheese being present. This was probably not deliberately in memory of Ben, but just because we all happen to love cheese, apparently. S'mores were fashioned and marshmallow-roasting strategies critiqued and improved. Then we played "Beastie Boys"-- a tribute to the band-- which Ben had introduced some YAGs to at the Joshua Tree trip last year. You go around in a circle and have to give a line that rhymes with the previous person's...all the while, everyone else was trying to beat box; I think Tom was the star beat boxer of the group, although Crescent had some impressive endurance!

After the Beastie Boys rap, good conversation was had, including of course, some wonderful memories of our good friend and how we are trying to live more 'n better nowadays. Finally, people crawled into tents or sleeping bags under the stars. Camp Pendleton was doing some training that made it sound like we were in a war zone, but apparently we were all exhausted, so we slept well...probably knowing we were not actually in any risk of waking up in a war zone was also a reason for our peaceful slumber.

In the morning, Tiffany somehow disappeared on a run and got back before many of us even woke up. Everyone carpooled back home to spend a day in the A/C or to the beach to spend the day in the cool water as it was in the nineties before 9 am! Except poor Huy of course, who pulled harder in the 100 degree heat uphill on his 35 mile ride back to Carlsbad! Go Huy! I always say Huy can ride a bike with just one little toe. Dang.

I'm sure Ben was hanging out with us in spirit and we're all glad he booked this campsite and made this trip happen. It was a wonderful & precious opportunity to spend time together as our YAG and extended YAG family--you all are stellar! Thanks everyone for coming =). If you couldn't make it this year, we hope we'll see you next year!