This post was originally written as a guest post for another blog. I wanted to be sure lots of people saw it, though, so I am sharing it here, too. It has been modified from the original post to fit my needs here. Enjoy!
My first experience camping with my family was a disaster. The drive was too long to keep my young child engaged, my friend and I wound up driving into town for more food, and in the end we got rained out. The trip was actually a blast up until the rain. That kind of freaked me out. The long ride is just part of life for kids, and the ride into town for food was a great time for my friend and I to get away for a little bit and enjoy some girl talk. The rain, though, that really got me.
Why, then, did I get excited when I saw ad for the Great American Backyard Campout? Well, because every family should have the experience of the great outdoors without a pile of electronics and other distractions every once in a while. Camping, especially in your own backyard, is a perfect way to unwind and spend some time together. I dare say camping is one activity every family should try at least once. When it is clear and bright outside... with no clouds.
On June 25, 2011, people all across America are going to pitch a tent right in their own backyards and enjoy food, fun, and family. You can register to become an official campground (thus donating to the National Wildlife Federation). You can even check out the Great American Backyard Campout on Facebook!
You don’t have to register for the official backyard campout, you don’t even have to do your campout on June 25th, but grab your family and go hang out away from the hustle and bustle of our plugged in lives. Start a fire in the backyard fire pit, roast some hot dogs and make S’Mores. Tell ghost stories or funny jokes, anything your family will enjoy. Go to bed under the stars and take some time to find your favorite constellation. No matter what you do, spend time together without your phones, television, and hand held games. I promise this is one activity your children will remember for quite some time.
Oh, and just so you know... that camping trip is still one of my girls' favorite stories to tell. They loved watching the adults scramble to pack up camp while they sat in the relative warmth of the car. They had a blast when all eight of us packed into the one hotel room left in the small town we were camping near. The camping trip may not have turned out the way we were hoping, but it did turn out to be a family memory we can keep forever. It strengthened a friendship that we still enjoy today. In the end, I say camping was a pretty good experience for us.