Growing Up Camping

Separator

I grew up in a family of 9 kids. We didn’t have a lot of money but we had a tent (and later a popup) and we went camping a LOT every summer. I think that’s where I got my love for it. Every year we went on our “big trip” somewhere different like I now do with my kiddos. We went for 2-4 weeks and learned and saw so much. We also went on several shorter trips to places like Mackinaw City and different campgrounds along Lake Michigan. My parents taught me how to camp and see lots of things, very frugally. I am so grateful my parents did that for/with me. Most people’s jaw drop when they find out how cheaply we do our month long vacation every summer now.

My dh grew up in a family that NEVER once went camping… the only vacations they ever took, were to the cottage up north, (on black lake) he had only been out of state once in his whole life, to Chicago, to visit extended family, before he met me. I had to teach him how to put up a tent, how to build a campfire,etc. can you even imagine being 18 years old and not ever have tasted a smore? With me, he has been to 31 states plus Canada, and I am so glad that he really loves camping and seeing the states.

His dad grew up in a camping family and I know he really wishes he would have went camping when my dh was a kid, even without his mom, who insisted they only go to the cottage because that is what she grew up doing. He is so glad we take our kiddos camping.

Camping adds so much to a kids life… They see a point of view that non-camping kids never get to see…. I think they learn to appreciate and respect nature more, too. You won’t see my kids throwing candy wrappers on the ground… it’s already important to them that these places stay as beautiful as possible so they can enjoy them again their next time around!

You said it!! I think that kids that don’t grow up camping really miss out! I try to encourage other families I know to camp and most just groan. Can’t believe that they aren’t interested… wierd!

I guess not everyone is interested in it, the school that my sons go to take the 6th graders on a weekend camping trip every year. So the ones that don’t ever get to go have the opportunity to experience it. It’s regular stuff for my kids though lol

We have 5th grade camp here. All the 5th graders get to go to the YMCA Storer Camps for 4 days. Jordan loved it! It was the first time for a lot of the kids though. We had a great turnout, only about 5 kids didn’t go out of the class of almost 300. Our school has a cruddy date though. They camp in the beginning of March, which still can be brutal weather. When Jordan went, they got a foot of snow. The kids didn’t mind though, they were prepared. Jordan’s zipper broke on the first day though, and he didn’t tell anyone. They had spare coats there, but he didn’t know that. He said he bundled up underneath though. This is a great experience for those kids who have never camped before. They also teach them about lots of other things. One of the things I loved, is that they taught them about wasting food. They weigh the food that is leftover at every meal. I think the first day it was like 100 lbs., the kids were horrified haha. By the end, I think Jordan said it was down to about 15 lbs.

I wish I had camped as a kid. I did get to go to school camp, and I loved it. My dad left us when I was three, never to be seen again. My mom never remarried, and didn’t drive till she was almost 40. We walked anywhere we had to go, including grocery shopping, doc appts., just everywhere. I do remember once when I was about 13, going to stay a week on Lake Huron at my Godparents cottage. Other than that, I never went anywhere till I was old enough to take myself.

I love camping, and how educational and fun it is for the kids too. I can also do cheap hehe. The thing we spend the most on, is the gas. Although one year all 4 of us packed up the teenie, tiny Geo, and off we went camping for a week. I still don’t know how we managed it. This was before Rosco, and when Jordan was about 4, and Dawn was 15. Talked about crammed!

I do know people who want nothing to do with camping. We camp for our family reunion with my hubby’s family. My SIL lives on a couple acres up north, and we all pretty much camp in her yard. It’s my MIL’s birthday when we do it, so everyone tries to come. There are usually at least 35 people there. There are 8 kids, and 34 grandkids, some of which are married with kids of their own. Anyway, one SIL refuses to stay anywhere besides a 5 star hotel, with room service hahaha. Kind of hard to find up north. If they can’t find somewhere to stay like that, they just drive the 5 1/2 hours for the afternoon, and go back home. The rest of us sit around the bon fire all night, singing songs, roasting marshmallows, and having a great time. They honestly don’t know what they are missing.

You certainly won’t see my kids littering up nature either. In fact, Jordan comes home with garbage in his pockets daily hahahaha.