It’s Summer – Time for Group Camping!

Let’s put this out there right away – I am not a camper. Not a true hike-through-the-woods and carry-the-canoe-for-five-miles kind of camper. Although I would like to try camping in the Boundary Waters at least once – with our friends Lynne and Don who DO know how to do real camping. But that’s another blog.

photo-MN DNR
photo-MN DNR

This weekend we’ll be doing our annual family group camp at Wild River State Park in Center City, MN. It’s car camping at its best. NOW we’re talking!

There will be 12 of us – from age 20 to nearly 60. My brother and sister-in-law will come up from Iowa for the weekend. My niece’s boyfriend will come down from Michigan. We’ll converge on our favorite local campground just 45 minutes from the metro area, put up our tents and settle in. For a couple of days, anyway.

A group campsite allows for a number of tents in the same site. We’ll have 8 tents, I think. Might be a bit crowded this time around – maybe next year we’ll need 2 group sites!

photo Evan-Amos
photo Evan-Amos

We keep it simple for food, bring lots of bug spray and even more smores supplies. And we hang out around the fire. There’s a screened “porch” we set up for eating, playing cards, etc. (I told you this was car camping at it’s best!)

photo-Eric's Canoes
photo-Eric’s Canoes

Saturday we’ll rent canoes from Eric’s Canoe Rental and spend the afternoon floating on the St. Croix River. One year it had been such a dry summer we had to keep getting out to carry the canoes! I think the river’s in better shape this year.

The best part of the weekend? No TVs. No computers. Just lots of time to hang out together talking, telling stories, getting reacquainted. Because even those of us who live together, or nearby, can spend more time plugged into our electronics than to each other.

Camping – whether nearby at Wild River or “up north” in the BWCA – is a fabulous way to just be. Be together. Be real. Be dirty. Be silly. Be stuffed with smores. Be wet. And when we all head home – north, south, west, wherever – we’re happy that we took the time to be who we are, as we are, together.

How do you like to “be”? And where?

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