If there’s one summer activity that’s been a stand out for me my whole life, it’s camping. Whether it was church camp or girl scout camp when I was younger or camping with my family, camping outdoors has always been a great experience. There’s just nothing like the great outdoors in the summer time –afternoon breezes, the chitter of wild forest animals in the background, the way the light filters luminescently through lazy green leaves before landing on you. Camping is a great way to take a break from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life.
I’ve been camping in some form or other every summer since I can remember. My favorite part of the summer is sitting down to rest after the tent’s finally pitched and the firewood is collected. Some of my favorite memories have happened while camping with my family, like the time my brother and I caught a baby snapping turtle and named him Ernie before letting him go back to his home in the pond. Camping as a young child is where my love for the Earth first took root. Every summer I take pictures of all the insects I find to catalogue them later. From 4th of Kuly weekends to random getaways in June and August, I’ve made many memories while camping that I won’t soon forget.
Camping offers so many great opportunities to have a good time, whether it be through taking part in fun activities or just resting, there’s a lot that can be done (or not done!). If you camp near a lake, you can swim, canoe, kayak, or lay out on the beach. There’s hiking (day or night!), archery, nature center activities, astronomy nights, cookouts, and my personal favorite: sitting around the campfire with people I love. My family likes to play Heads Up around the campfire while eating s’mores. If you’re instrumentally inclined, there’s no better play to make music than around a campfire. You can horse-back ride, play ultimate Frisbee or disc golf, go caving or wade through creeks. Some campgrounds even offer an outdoor amphitheater where they show movies for the family and have story times. The campground I go to sometimes offers Sassafras Tea tasting. There’s a ton to do if you know where to look.
However, if being super active isn’t your thing, camping also gives us the opportunity to unplug from the rest of the world, which in turn allows us to slow down and focus on the smaller things for a little while. For just a short period of time, we don’t have to worry about being bombarded with Kanye’s latest antics or what J-Law eats for dinner. We can take a pause to just breathe and be with our friends and family in one of the purest environments we have left: nature. Whenever I go camping, I always come back feeling way more relaxed that I felt when I left. One reason for this is that camping is also an amazing opportunity for me to catch up on my reading list, which is always ambitiously long. I find that nature is conducive to losing myself in the atmosphere of the book I’m reading, sometimes more so than being in the city. Camping is synonymous with relaxation to me.
I’ll always love camping. It’s just part of who I am. Next time you’re looking for a simple weekend getaway, consider going camping! And even though the summer’s winding to an end, there’s still time left! You won’t regret it.