campingbecky5Momma, let’s go camping! OK, probably not my favorite words to hear come out of my 4-year-old’s mouth, but that little man of mine believes momma is capable of anything. Yes, I know. I have him fooled.

It is no secret that I am anything but an expert outdoors-woman. In fact I have come to the conclusion that they only allow me to call myself that to be nice to me. However, I do have a desire to learn, or at least teach my children about the outdoors, but taking my then-8-year-old and 4-year-old camping alone, well that was not a challenge I was sure I could handle.

DestinationReviewI could probably attempt to assemble a tent, of course, all the other campers around me would probably get quite a show. Besides, after the tent is up, I am not too fond of sleeping on the ground. My excuses: age, having two kids, and I love my memory foam mattress.

Despite all of that, when I had the opportunity last summer to test out “semi” camping alone with my two kids in a Tree House at Cross Creek RV Park in Lake Ozark, Missouri, I was successful.

Moms Can “Semi” Camp Like This

It is as though they designed this style of camping with folks like me in mind. Mommas: you can do this. The styles may vary, but “semi” camping consists of having some sort of off the ground bed, roof over your head, and mine had running water and electricity. Notice that I did not say shower and toilet.

The truth is you do not have to be an “expert” outdoorswoman or man to successfully take your kids camping. Prior to my “roughing it” experience, I never dreamed I could actually build a fire, cook my dinner over the fire, and enjoy the outdoors alone with my kids….mainly my fear was the sleeping on the ground and the idea of being completely outside.

Camping is what you make camping; I respect all the “expert” campers who pitch a tent and cook every meal over an open fire. But for those of us who are not experts, there is hope.

Don’t Be Intimidated by Camping

Here’s what I discovered on our first mom and kids camping trip:

  1. Many of the expert campers are excited to see you out there with your kids.
  2. Camping is what you make it. I successfully cooked hot dogs over a fire, with chips on the side, finished off with S’mores. For breakfast we had granola bars and donut sticks. Maybe not be the most nutritious meal of the week, but my kids were ecstatic that Momma had broken all the rules.
  3. It’s important to shop around for your camping experience. Look for a family-friendly campground, especially if you are a single mom like me. When you find that perfect camping spot, ask the campground folks what you need to pack and what’s available at the site. Many places have the stuff on site to make your experience better. 
  4. Once you arrive, ssk if you need help. Campground workers and other campers are usually happy to offer assistance. It was in huge relief when Cross Creek’s owners drove by a few times on our night stay to check on me and my little ones!

If you are thinking of camping I encourage you to give it a try, my kids still say I am an expert and we will always have that special memory of our “semi” camping experience.