Not bloody likely! as my European friends say. We camp several times every year and always with this ideal picture in mind. We tell ourselves that camping will bring us closer as a family and it will make memories that our children will reminisce about. I love camping, but it certainly never matches my expectations of what a family camping trip should be like. We are closer to the Griswold’s with everyone arguing and sometimes wishing they were somewhere or with someone else. Recently, my son brought a friend with him to join us on our camping adventures, who I am sure thought that we were all possessed. Over the years, we have moved from tent camping to trailer camping not because of the added comforts, but to minimize the contact that my two sons would have with each other.
So why do we still go? Because camping is really no different than the rest of our lives. We have moments of chaos, arguing and not getting along, mixed with other moments of happiness, laughter and peace. We have made memories through frantically packing up in the rain, backing up over a deer antler and blowing a tire, and just cooking our dinner together. We have weathered out rainstorms by playing card games, enjoyed kayaking, canoeing and swimming races and bet on who could catch the biggest, most and ugliest fish. We have sat on the beach, in folding chairs by the fire and have snuggled under the covers.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resilience By Celebrating National Camping Month:
- Whether you go tenting or full out in an RV…
remember that planning is always key in minimizing the chance of chaos while on vacation.Click to tweet
…I now have a standard list of meals and camping equipment. When we pack, each person knows what to take and where to find it.
- Try to go with the flow and let go of your mental picture of what camping should look like. I don’t try to force time together and now that the boys are in there teens, they generally leave and find new friends. I have learned to relish this time as my reading or kayaking time. If we happen to go with friends, it allows us to catch up without having to be interrupted by their constant demands.
- Talk to others who camp and find the right campground that will suit you and your family’s personality. Some are known for there peace and quite which might not be suitable for your active lifestyle. Others are more pet friendly. Some offer organized events and others are more secluded and offer fewer comforts. Experiment to discover what suits your group the best.
Even with all of the effort and potential for chaos, camping represents a break from the everyday for me. I enjoy some family time and some alone time and I get a chance to appreciate nature and all of the beauty it offers. Our next stop, Bon Echo Provincial Park and I can’t wait as it offers one of the most breath taking views around.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!