I started tent camping when my kids were little because it was inexpensive- $11 a night at Vermont State Parks. We could spend a week camping for what a hotel would cost for one night, back then. Eventually, my camping experience was upgraded to a pop-up and then a real camper with all the bells and whistles.
Five years ago, I went back to tent camping, only this time, with my grandson. It has been the greatest gift to be able to share this experience with him. Oh, it’s a lot of work, especially those years when my knees were worn out or a storm took down our canopy on the first night or the air mattress failed at 2am. Traditionally, there is some sort of calamity on our first night. But these are the memories that stick and the ones we laugh about in the years to follow. The first day or two will usually find me saying, “This is the last time. I am too old for this.” But then we settle in and have a great day – swimming, beachcombing for sea glass and building sandcastles. What usually follows is chowder & clam cakes, a visit to the lighthouse, ice cream, climbing the tower for sunset and a leisurely campfire. Finding the Big Dipper, listening to the crickets, lighting sparklers, making s’mores….. even the sound of gentle rain on the tent as we sleep. Yes. This. All of it. This is why I do it. And this is why I’ve already made next year’s camping reservation.❤️