I don’t camp. I don’t do bugs, spiders, or snakes. A shower with hot water and access to a flushing toilet rank high on my list of “must haves” in my daily life. If the outside temperature is more than 75 degrees, the air conditioner is on in my house – I hate being hot. Float trips? Never been on one. Hiking? No thanks. Sleeping on the ground surrounded by a hot and heavy canvas cocoon that is in no way capable of keeping the aforementioned bugs, spiders or snakes away from me? Call me high maintenance, but no. Just no.
Last July, my brother and sister-in-law invited my family to join them in their camper (read: no hot smelly tent) for the long Independence Day weekend. I was promised an actual bed to sleep in, air conditioning, and a flushing toilet. More importantly, I was promised a weekend of much needed family time with countless activities and endless pool and lake time. Intrigued, I accepted the invitation.
It turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done.
The experience I had was nothing like the scenario I had laid out in my head. In fact, being in their camper didn’t feel like camping at all! It felt like an intimate cabin that could comfortably and safely house the family at night and during the day when we needed to rest. Over the course of the weekend, we swam in the pool, dug our toes into the sandy beach of the lake, jumped on water inflatables and went down giant water slides, played beach volleyball, went fishing, and spent several nights around the fire roasting marshmallows. We were hooked. We were relaxed. We were happy.
Second best thing I’ve ever done? We went out this past spring and bought our own camper – what I now lovingly refer to as our “glamper.” We bought a seasonal spot at that very same resort we visited last summer and moved in! Now we spend almost every weekend there glamping, and our family has never been closer. The electronics are almost non-existent while we’re there; we’re too busy talking, playing, and getting to know each other better. My kids are truly experiencing their dream summer, and with all the time spent in the water, they have become excellent swimmers. They’ve made a whole new group of friends that they never would have met otherwise, and they’re becoming more independent with every trip.
If you ask anyone who knows me well, they would agree that I am the last person that they would have thought would own a camper. In the beginning, I didn’t do it for me – I did it for my family. Truth be told, however, I enjoy my quiet time up there too, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Have you been looking for a way to reconnect with your family? Sick of your kids playing with their electronics all day long and want to get them out of the house? Check out some of our local campsites: Babler State Park, Klondike Park, and Pin Oak Creek. Many of these sites offer tent camping (if that’s your thing), hookups for Glampers (if you don’t own one, you can always rent one for the week or weekend), and some even have small cabins available to rent. You could also go big and check out one of the Jellystone camping sites. There’s one in Eureka and one in Pittsfield Illinois, about an hour outside of the Wentzville/Troy area.
What do you think? Are you #teamtentcamping or #teamglamping? Are there any campsites that you’ve been to and fallen in love with? Share them below.
Looking for a place to camp and float? Check out the best Float Trip Destinations around the area.