No. of Recommendations: 36
Another poster talked about the cost of family vacations, and I got to thinking about our 30+ years of family camping trips.

Today, people are so plugged in and hung up on electronic "communication" all the time that many simply never truly escape all of that. Their family time is severely limited and they may wistfully dream of somehow finding a way to improve their life together.

If they want to try something truly refreshing, why not go camping?

"Camping" means many different things to different people, so take your pick. For some, it means an RV or maybe a mobile home. Others pull along a "pop-up" tent camper that includes varying amounts of home-style comfort. Others (like us) found that tent camping and/or leanto camping in state parks was just great. Finally, some hardy souls enjoy backpacking into the woods, but I suspect that most work up to that only after learning the ropes!

One reason (one of many) why we retired here was because we came to love the beauty of this state when we camped in Vermont's state parks. Mind you, these camp sites are not on top of one another; rather, most are maybe 75-100 feet apart or more, often in nicely cleared spots separated by trees, and many are perched atop a mountain (with views to die for) or on the shores of a lake.

I'll leave the RV and popup group to figure out their costs, and those vary widely.

However, for tent camping or leanto camping, you need rather little, and a lot of that stuff is on sale right now, so look around! I just saw a very nice, big tent with a built-in screened sitting area for a family for about $150.00! Yes, you will need to buy some other equipment, too, but books and ideas are all around you, so look at it and think about it. A "leanto", by the way, at least in our state parks here, also called an Appalachian shelter, is really a 3-sided room with a solid roof; elevated above the ground (nice for rainy weather); and saves you the need of buying a tent. However, you will want a tarp to hand across the open front, and, if you do not have a tent, mosquitoes CAN get at you, so consider bugs!

I'll just say this:

We had many magic moments camping with our kids as they grew up, and we know it meant a lot to them, too -- and to us. Our kids are all grown up now, with families of their own, and THEY all enjoy camping, too.

We had the extreme joy last summer of having them all camp at sites in a gorgeous state park not far from here so they could invite gramma and grampa to come down and share a campfire and meal with all of them. Being there... sharing the joy of those little grandchildren, with their eyes shining by the fire... with no jangling phones or other devices to intrude... brought back a lot of memories.

Some things can't be bought. And I'm not talking about Master Card.

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