Camping: A simple pleasure, or simply expensive?

When it comes to camping, it seems people fall into one of two camps: Camp Love It or Camp Hate It. I TMm squarely in the Love It category, except for packing and clean up; then it TMs strictly a Hate It situation. Packing up your kitchen, bedroom and closets for a weekend in a tent is nothing short of dreadful. It can only be rivaled by washing all that junk and putting it back away.

The hassle of packing/unpacking could be greatly alleviated by owning a camper or RV. Of course, there TMs the issue of cost and storage of the camper weighed against the convenience. In some ways I covet a camper and in other ways I TMm grateful we don TMt have one.

For me, the best thing about camping is getting away from technology overload. That means no computers, no television and no gaming systems. I don TMt need WiFi to have a good time. However, I know several families that own campers, who rarely even get outdoors once they TMve pulled into their campsites. What is the point of parking an RV 30 miles from home and watching movies and popping corn in the microwave? If I TMm going to take the trouble to camp, I TMm going to walk a trail, play cards under the stars with the kids and stare mindlessly into a fire. Chances are I will not shower, I certainly will do without the makeup and we TMll consume enough junk food to feed a tribe for six weeks.

Our family just returned from an extended camping weekend. We went with about ten other families to Oko Tipi, which is along the Mississippi River at Saverton. There are cabins, which is a big step up from a tent, though they are primitive. It also has a mess hall, open-air gymnasium and a spring-fed swimming pool. All for the low-low price of just $67.50 for a three night stay (and that was split two ways with my sister!). It was a wonderful mini-vacation! We played cards, kick ball, pool games, dodge ball, had a scavenger hunt and roasted marshmallows. The kids had friends to run around with, the grown ups had time to chat around the fire. Our priest even came out for an outdoor mass Sunday morning. These are the times when memories are made; not gathered around pint-size TV in a camper parked in the woods.

Take care ~Sarah D.