Summer is in full swing. If you’ve driven the interstate, it’s most likely been full of RVs, trailers and pick-ups, packed in anticipation of camping adventures. Camping is one of those activities that people either love or hate. Sleeping under the stars isn’t for everyone. But for me, it’s heaven. Cool air, dark nights, warm fire, marshmallows, bright stars, family, friends and memories. There’s nothing better.
I grew up as a happy camper. My father loved it and we went everywhere in our RV. Every summer was full of new adventures. It was the best time we spent as a family and when I had a family of my own, I couldn’t wait to carry on the tradition. And we started early! My son was three months old when we first took him camping!
In today’s world of technology, we head out into the great outdoors where there is – gasp – no Wi-Fi or cell service! So, instead, we hike, canoe, pull out a football or Frisbee, play board games and cards and at night, around the campfire, we talk. Yes, just talk. It’s amazing what your children will share with you without the distraction of their cell phones, which by the way, they never seem to miss.
Part of the camping experience is the food! Have you ever noticed that food always seems to taste better cooked over an open flame? The kids always make sure the cooler is packed with sausage, bacon, eggs, pancake batter, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and homemade goodies like Scotcheroos and of course, S’mores. We never leave home without marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers.
The Great Outdoors
In Montana, we are surrounded by the beauty of nature. We have camped all over our state, next to rivers and lakes and in both of our national parks. We have hiked past magnificent waterfalls to mountain peaks. It is truly breathtaking. And, you never know who might visit your campsite! Over the years, we’ve seen buffalo, elk, deer, moose, bears, foxes, raccoons, otters, eagles and heard wolves howling in the distance.
Our children are now grown. My son graduated from college a year ago and is working in Washington. My daughter is headed to college in August. Both tell me that some of their fondest memories of growing up are camping. My son often camps with friends now and we will all be together for an annual camping trip with friends to Swan Lake later this summer.
But right now, my husband and I are getting ready for a weekend of camping without our kids for the first time in 24 years. It will be different. We packed a couple of steaks instead of hot dogs and hamburgers. But all that I love will be the same. Cool air, dark nights, warm fire, marshmallows, bright stars, family, friends and memories. There’s nothing better.