“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” Unknown
National Camping Month
Are you looking for a great way to start the summer with the kids this year? June is National Camping Month, and has been observed since the 1970’s. Coincidentally, I’ve also been around since the 1970’s. I didn’t go on my first camping trip until many years later, though. And by many years later, I mean circa 2011. If you’ve been doing your math, you’ll see that I didn’t experience my first camping trip until the big 4-0. Even so, I can honestly say that camping has provided unique opportunities for family bonding and camaraderie that have grown as our kids have grown into teen and adulthood. Couple that with the thrill of adventure that we wouldn’t have experienced otherwise, and camping has been our go-to annual family trip for nearly a decade.
A quick note about local camping options in light of COVID-19: as of this writing, we are just a few weeks into Phase 1 of our post-COVID-19 quarantine in Miami-Dade county. Reopening of certain businesses is well underway, which includes parks, but with strict capacity and safety rules in place. Camping is still on the list of activities local parks are not allowing. Specific cities may have different opening schedules or guidelines, so visit corresponding websites for specific instructions and information.
The best way to celebrate National Camping Month is to go camping. So, how are we supposed to celebrate National Camping Month (or National Camping Week, which takes place the last full week of June, starting June 21st this year) when local parks aren’t allowing camping?
Don’t fear, some fun camping options are here!
Now I know, we’re all probably tired of being cooped up at home. Even us introverted homebodies are experiencing a little cabin fever. #punintended
Here are a few ideas to incorporate some at-home camping options into your summer fun:
- Keep the electronics to a minimum. Unless you’re using them to take pictures, phones should be put away. Turn off TV’s unless you’re opting for a family movie night as part of your camp-out.
- Reconnecting to the great outdoors is as close as your own backyard. Go on a nature hike in your neighborhood. Try and find a quiet spot to sit down, breathe in deeply, and take it all in. Bring a sketchbook along for an impromptu art lesson.
- Set up a pop-up tent and sleeping bags in your backyard under the stars.
- If your backyard isn’t an option, try setting up your pop-up tents in the living room.
- No tents? Strategically staged blankets in tent formation are just as effective.
- Don’t forget your flashlights! As the sun starts to set, make sure whatever lights can be turned off are.
- S’mores on the fire pit are a must! In fact, any food you can prepare over an open fire at home would add that extra special touch to your at-home camping adventure. If you don’t have access to a fire pit at home, microwave and oven-baked s’mores options are just as yummy.
- If your nature hike from earlier in the day lacked wildlife sightings, dogs wearing antlers have been known to look like deer from a distance.
I’m really looking forward to the day when we can go camping again. Until then, I hope these ideas brought fresh inspiration to your heart, and maybe even a smile to your face.
Any other at-home campers out there? Would love to hear your fun ideas in the comments.