The summer is in full swing, and it’s possible you’re already feeling strapped for time. There’s a ton to cram in to the handful of nice-weather months we are guaranteed here in Boston, right? I’m here to urge you to add one more trip to your list anyway. Yep… another thing to pack and unpack for. I promise it will be worth it.
Take your kids camping. You MUST! Here’s why camping with kids is the best:
1. It’s inexpensive
Camping is CHEAP. Outside of supplies (camping equipment, flashlights, food, bug spray), the actual cost is crazy low. As a parent, I always weigh cost with probability of success. With family vacations I’m terrified of spending a ton of money and having a sick kid or bad weather ruin our plans. With camping reservations, the cost isn’t an issue should you need to cancel. AND, if you already have a *big* summer vacation planned, adding a weekend of camping is an inexpensive bonus getaway.
2. It can be done with little planning on your part
Many local campgrounds do book up on weekends, but with a little advance notice there is usually availability. If you have a long weekend coming up, check online and book a campsite!
3. It’s a true escape
Some campgrounds offer Wi-Fi access, but with all that land and all those trees it can be spotty. This is a good thing! Camping with kids is about taking the time to really connect with your family without the distraction of electronics. I challenge you to even leave the tablets and extra electronics at home so they aren’t tempting.
4. It’s an opportunity to teach your kids important skills
How to bait a hook, how to build a campfire, how to appropriately toast a marshmallow so the outside is perfectly crisp and the inside is perfectly gooey. You can’t send your kid out into the world unless they know these hugely important life skills (s’more making, especially).
5. It’s LOCAL
I bet if you Googled “local camping,” a huge list of campgrounds would pop up within an hour of your home. Local is GREAT. If you forget something at home you can run back and get it!
6. It isn’t as outdoorsy as you think
There’s camping and there’s GLAMPING. We aren’t talking about pitching a tent in some remote woods. Many local campgrounds offer planned activities for your family, snack bars, lounges, and game rooms. You can bring your own tent or trailer, or you can rent a sweet little cabin where you’ll get the camping experience but sleep in a real bed and have access to your own bathroom and refrigerator (priorities, right?).
7. Nature, nature, NATURE
I was born and raised in the woods and didn’t appreciate it until adulthood. Now, when I think of the things that are most important to childhood, I think of the dirt, the bugs, the pine sap, the lake water. It’s good for a kid to really experience nature. And you know what? It’s good for the mom, too. When was the last time you sat near a real campfire? When was the last time you smelled the morning dew through a forest of pines? When was the last time you got a sweaty hug from a kid, face rosy from a day in the sun and feet dirty from running around the campground?
I’m super lucky. I get to experience the joy of camping with kids every weekend when I’m working at the campground my family has owned and operated for 65 years — Pinewood Lodge Campground. I am proud to be in the business of making lasting memories for local families, and I’m proud to be raising my kids on those same grounds… covered in dirt and smelling like lake water.