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Camping Offers Quality Time With Your Family

April 13, 2010 by · 2 Comments 


When I was a kid growing up, family time was most every evening starting with everyone sitting down together for dinner.  After dinner we retired to the living room where my Dad would read his newspaper and Mom did some reading or sewing.  Occasionally, we would all watch a program on TV.  It was a black & white Philco model with a huge wood cabinet and a ridiculously small picture tube for the cabinet’s size.    The picture was fuzzy or snowy – but no one seemed to mind.

Sundays were extra special family days.  We all gathered at my grandparent’s home along with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and even cousins for a big after Church dinner out on the back screened-in porch during the warmer months and in the small dining room during the winter.

By the time our children came along, things had begun to change.  We still had family dinners, but they were much less frequent and the kids usually retired to their bedrooms to do homework or talk to friends on the telephone once the table was cleaned off.

Now, our grandchildren are always on the run.  There is Soccer, T-Ball, Karate lessons, time on the cell phone – either talking or texting.  Of course, there is the computer, Internet and even more homework.  Family sit-down dinners are a rarity and the opportunity to spend time together just talking to our kids seems to be a thing of the past. That is, unless you still participate in family camping trips.  There is nothing like a campfire to bring everyone together for talk, stories and a great family time.

This past weekend was extremely special for Nancy and I.  Our youngest son married his long-time sweetheart at the Preston Woodall House in Benson, NC.  We had been camping at Emerald Isle, NC.  On Friday morning we pulled our camper up to the Smithfield KOA, which was close to the events in Benson. The Smithfield KOA, is the perfect place to stay overnight when running the I-95 route on the way to see Mickey and Minnie in Orlando, or just to spend a few days relaxing and visiting the nearby outlet malls. The Woodall’s Directory gives this KOA a three diamond rating, but I personally believe they now deserve at least a four diamond rating for their extremely well groomed grounds and excellent customer care — not to mention free WiFi and free, hot Belgian waffles for breakfast.

Our oldest son, his wife and our two of our grandchildren brought their camper down from Virginia and parked right behind us in the campground. Our oldest daughter rented one of the KOA Kampin’ Cabins and was there with three more of our grandchildren. My mother and youngest daughter elected to stay in a nearby motel, but they all came to the campground to visit with family.

On Saturday, after the wedding, we all gathered at our son’s camper to enjoy a roaring campfire and toasted marshmallows. We talked, told stories and laughed until well past 11:00 p.m. – possibly to the displeasure of the campers next door.  But, it was absolutely great!  All of us were together and having loads of fun. Of course, all of this got me to thinking about how times have changed and how few opportunities seem to exist to spend quality time with both your children and grandchildren.

It doesn’t always take a wedding to bring everyone together when families are “in too” camping.  Family camping is the golden opportunity for togetherness. If you have young children or grandchildren, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.  Camping can be both simple and inexpensive.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a tent and sleeping bag along with a small grill.  In fact, the combination can create a very interactive family environment.  Of course, there is noting wrong with a pop-up, travel trailer, fifth-wheel or a motor home either.  It all comes down to the style a family enjoys and what they feel they can afford to invest in camping gear or a rolling camping unit.

Both children (parents) and grandchildren gathered around the campfire roasting marshmallows.

Our son's 28 foot Salem TT.

Our fifth wheel camper next to our son's camper.

Looking down one of the lanes in the campground. A motor coach club was also present for the weekend. A great way to meet and make new friends.


2 Responses to “Camping Offers Quality Time With Your Family”
  1. Genevieve says:

    I agree with you, Randy! Camping is the ultimate family vacation. I recall the best times as a child, joining my grandparents at the campsite. (They RV’d a lot and we got to come along on weekend trips or short vacations.) Now as an adult, I tent camp with my family and we have a really great time. The kids just leave their electronic gadgets behind. It’s a few days with no x-box, no hand-held games and no T.V. … we just fish and hike and play outdoor games. I really love it.

  2. Tracy says:

    My kids would not rather spend a weekend any other way. Most of the time they want to take friends and once these children experience camping they want to come everytime. Eventually I am going to need a bus to get everyone to the site.

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