Try A Mother's Day Campout!

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Mother's Day. It has always been a lovely harbinger of spring and a promise of summer just around the corner. It has also been a day of celebration for the women in our lives who have supported and nurtured us. I am not talking about just our own mothers and mothers in law, but also our sisters, daughters, and close girlfriends. So, this Mother's Day let's celebrate all these women in our lives with an experience we will long remember and one that could become an annual tradition. A Mother's Day Camp Out! 

For some, it might lean more into "glamping" rather than traditional camping. Tents set up with throw rugs on the floor, night tables with flowers, and comfy beds stacked high with pillows. Or, maybe you lean into motorhome or trailer camping with all the conveniences of home at your fingertips in a perfect tiny-house package. And then there are the true nature lovers who enjoy the camping experience that brings everything back to simplicity - a campfire, sleeping bags, and a tent. No matter your style, a weekend out in the forest or by the lake is a great way for the women in your life to enjoy a getaway together.  

A larger group of sisters, mothers, daughters, and close friends may be great fun but camping with just you and your mom can be a very special way to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories. Either way, begin with choosing your style of camping. If you have a group, you may find a combination of glampers, RVers, and traditional campers with a few of each. If it is just you and your mom, the two of you can choose the style you find most comfortable. (Don't make this a stress point - if the thought of 'roughing it' is just not in your vocabulary, find a local "glamping" campground or a state park cabin for your adventure into the outdoors). 

Then, decide on where you might like to go and when. Reserving campsites for weekends can be a challenge in late spring and summer, so you may have to try several campgrounds to find the dates and space you need. Many campgrounds have large sites that can accommodate multiple campers and most have group campsites that might work. 

  Make sure the trail isn't too challenging!

Make sure the trail isn't too challenging!

Once you have a place picked out, you can begin to plan the activities for your special weekend. If you choose a state park, check their events calendar to see if there are any ranger-led activities. These can vary from hikes and nature walks to wildlife observations. Since most forests offer hiking, see if they offer trails that can accommodate all levels of fitness for your group. A walk in the woods is a great time to observe the forest and wildlife. Bird watching is a time-honored activity on a hike that can have you searching the trees along the trail. Take along a birding guidebook to identify the ones you sight. It could even become a competition with fun prizes! Hike slow enough to have a conversation and stop frequently to let the older members rest. A light backpack to carry maps, bottled water, a snack, and other necessities will be on your hiking packing list too. Perhaps you would like to plan a hike with a picnic lunch at a lovely spot along the trail. Don't forget trekking poles - they may be a good gift for everyone attending! 

  Kayaking on beautiful Lake Blue Ridge, Georgia

Kayaking on beautiful Lake Blue Ridge, Georgia

Kayaking is one of my favorite activities. Picture yourself gliding across a glassy lake, enjoying the sunshine and exploring the shoreline. Take along a few snacks and bottled water, then raft up together to chat and eat in a quiet cove. There is something quite magical about paddling in a kayak! If you like to fish, drop a line from your kayak and see what you can catch - maybe dinner?! Or, if your group is energetic, have a kayak race across the cove and the winners cook dinner (That should slow things down to a comfortable paddle!). A dry bag is essential in a kayak to keep your snacks, keys, and camera gear dry. Plan on taking LOTS of photos to share on a service like Dropbox.

The campfire is always the center of camp life so make sure you know how to start and tend a campfire. At the end of the day, plan on simple appetizers and wine at the lake's edge to watch the sunset. Then prepare supper together and share stories of the day around the campfire. A good night's rest in your chosen accommodations will have you ready for the smell of coffee brewing and another day of adventure ahead. 

It is experiences like this that are "collectible". They are moments in time of laughter and love that sustain us throughout life. Creating collectible experiences provide mile-markers in our lives. We tell the passing of time by them and plan activities around them; The Annual Mother's Day Camp Out, the family vacation, the beach house reunion - events like these that become a wonderful collection of our lives lived together. So, for this Mother's Day, create a "collectible experience" for the women in your life. It will be a day they will always remember. 

Robin North