Place item was collected
Utah State University
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Silas Schneider is a sophomore at Utah State University majoring in Environmental Engineering. He was raised in Tucson Arizona. His family includes his mother and now his mother’s boyfriend
This was told to me before our shift working as janitors started. We were in the janitorial office on Utah State University in the Edith Bowen Building where we meet every day before we head over to the Education building to clean it that night. The office is small with a computer with two monitors that our boss uses when he’s in. There are random cleaning supplies sitting around us, a cordless vacuum sitting on an empty chair, some old window cleaner on a shelf next to Silas, etc. We were sitting in some of the chairs and just talking when I had asked him if he had any holiday traditions and he told me yes. And so, I started recording. Silas said they started this tradition a few years ago, he wasn’t sure why they started it but they had enjoyed camping and hiking and Thanksgiving weekend was a time when he and his mom could meet up without interrupting their school and work schedule.
Shannon (Sh): “Go ahead” [said softly]
Silas(S): “um, for the past like four or five years [said uncertainly]uh every thanksgiving we’ve uh gone camping in various places around the place. So that’s kind of uh kind of interesting tradition I guess. Um ya.”
Sh: “Where do you go camping? Does it change every year”
S: “uh ya it’s we’ve gone to different places every year, uh we’ve gone to Zion uh went to Moab last year um we uh saw arches that year as well, um we went to Sequoia, no. [pause while Silas thinks] maybe it was Sequoia actually, um a national park I think, uh I don’t remember all the places we’ve been but uh ya, we’ve been to a couple in southern Utah, one or two places in Arizona, I think one place in Californa, so ya uh[Silas yawns] so uh we actually didn’t do that this year but the past year and year before that we have. So it’s kinda a tradition I guess ”
Sh: “Would you go camping on Thanksgiving day[Silas nods], or the weekend before or?”
S: “um, we go camping thanksgiving day and a couple days either end all of thanksgiving break I guess. Uh we wouldn’t uh, well since we were camping we wouldn’t make any thanksgiving food I guess, but uh, cook something, kinda depended on what we had. Since we were camping”
Sh: “and by family, do you mean you immediate family? Or like your extended family as well, grandparents”
S: “uh, the first two or three times we did it it was my mother and my brother, but uh last one or two years her uh, my mothers partner-boyfriend I guess came with us as well, um so it’s been just the four of us I guess so my immediate family”
S: “um ya, we usually go hiking I guess a lot, on those camping trips uh kinda seeing the sights but that’s about all I guess”
Sh: “Did you go hiking at all this year over Thanksgiving or?”
S: “Ya we went uh couple places, uh um there’s a national park I wanna say just an hour south of Tucson me and my mom went and took a little walk. We were bird watching uh yah my mother like sorta, my grandmother and my great grandmother and my mother kind of all into bird watching so she like to uh likes to hunt for birds if we’re in a place with any interesting ones so we did that a little bit. We went uh ya we went a couple places, uh just uh took some walks I guess”
Sh: “Okay, sweet”
As he told me this story Silas was relaxed and thoughtful about his answers to my questions. He would often move his hands around while he was thinking. Sometimes on his knees other times behind his head. He took a little bit to figure out what he was trying to say. He was sort of soft spoken, but that is just his personality.
Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
Meyer, Shannon, "Camping or Hiking for Thanksgiving" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 424.