Families continue tradition of spending Thanksgiving in the great outdoors | News

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Families continue tradition of spending Thanksgiving in the great outdoors

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — At Anastasia State Park, the camp sites are all booked for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.ID=76428634

A good chunk of the camp sites are occupied by a group of more than 50 friends who come out here every year for Thanksgiving.

The Skielnik family was one of the founding families of this Thanksgiving tradition.

"We started coming to St. Augustine in 1989 with another family. Neither of us had families in Florida at the time in the late 80's when we both moved from the north," Sam Skielnik said.

And so those families decided to camp out for the holiday. Now there are more than 50 people in this group.

"It's made up of different families from the church and some of their extended families and friends," Skielnik said. "Generally most of us are from Palm Beach County."

Some of them eat out for Thanksgiving Dinner, but others eat right on site.

Barrett Cruce's family's campsite is across the path from the Skielnik's. His family cooked inside the campground.

"Turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, everything. We just have a real nice Thanksgiving meal out here on the picnic table," Cruce said.

His mother, Janice Cruce of Tallahassee, laughed as she held up a packet of new plastic disposable dishes.

"This is fine china for the picnic. 48 heavy weight plastic!"

They, and the many kids who are growing up with this Thanksgiving tradition, sure seem to have fun.

"We've got a lot of friends who are here," Cruce said. "It's a great time to spend with family. Away from the hustle and bustle. Just doing our own little thing."

It may be a little tougher than a typical Thanksgiving, Lisa Skielnik said, but it's worth it.

"I think it is when you hear your children talking about looking forward to it," she said.

In December, the group will start planning next year's Thanksgiving camping trip because they want to ensure that they have their chunk of campsites.


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