Summertime Camping, Summertime Fun and Games

Summertime Camping, Summertime Fun and Games


Many consider summertime camping to be a requirement for the summer months. They know summertime camping equals summertime fun.


If your family hasn’t gone camping in recent years, you may want to think about the following when you make plans: Where to go, what activities to do, what to take, safety concerns, costs and what to do about weather.


Where to go: There are so many places you can choose to go camping. National and State Parks offer different types of camping based on your family’s interests. Do you want all the amenities? Check out a cabin. Do you want to ‘rough it’? Most parks will also offer primitive camping. You can also contact your local Chamber of Commerce or the internet to see where other camping is available in your area or nearby.


What to take: What you decide to take camping will depend upon where you end up going. If you are going to a campground that has full hook-ups for electricity and water, you may already have everything you need in a camper. If you are going somewhere that only allows a tent, you will need a tarp, tent, sleeping bags, blankets, pillow, clothing, food for the entire trip, outdoor games, and a first aid kit. You may also find prepared packing lists online that will help you ensure you have everything you need.


One of the neatest, newest, most popular back yard games or activities is known as Corn Hole. What this consists of is bean bags which are thrown onto a deck that is angled and has holes in it. Each hole can have a different score and/or just being able to get the bean bag into any hole scores as a point. Typically, there are two corn hole boards set opposed to each other at a distance that can be adjusted depending on the skill level and age of the participants. For teenagers and young people with a good arm and a good eye, 50-60 ft. may be appropriate, but for toddlers and young children 5-10 ft. might be the correct distance. After all, the object of the game is to get satisfaction from getting the bag to drop into the hole. In order to maintain this level of enthusiasm, the distance must be adjusted according to the needs of the participants. Corn hole games can be bought online or at retailers such as Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, or Target. However, if you are handy and have some basic tools, they are relatively easy to build. It is simply a matter of constructing a frame and legs so that the frame is held at the appropriate angle.  The only tough spot that needs a special tool is the hole. In order to make the correct 6” diameter hole the appropriate tool to use is a 150mm/ 6” diameter hole saw. These can be bought from numerous companies such as Klein, Stanley, Go Sports, Blue Boar, Hole Pro, Eliseo, Dewalt, and Tech Team We have found the Tech Team item 756 to be absolutely perfect. It is available online from Amazon, has the perfect diameter, and the perfect number of teeth per inch to make smooth efficient cuts on the plywood deck. In addition, it has an arbor with a drill bit so that the hole can be perfectly centered, and then cut through by using a simple and easy to obtain 3/8” variable speed power drill.



Safety concerns: Whenever you take a camping trip, it is important to carry a well-stocked first aid kit. You will want to have poison ivy medicine and plenty of water as well. Think about where you will be camping. How close are you to the nearest hospital should it be needed? How soon can you get help if it is warranted?


Costs: Costs will also depend upon where you decide to camp. National Parks can cost as little as $10 per day, but they can also cost more depending upon the facilities you choose. Similarly, state parks will have varying prices depending upon which state you live in and which park you choose.


Weather concerns: Keep an eye on what the weather is expected to be as you prepare for your camping trip. You will also want to listen to the radio for weather reports on your way to your designated campground. Plan to set up early enough so you can see where shelters are in case the weather changes unexpectedly. You will also want to make alternative arrangements if you think the weather may be a problem.


One thing to consider, especially if cost is a concern and you are unsure how your children will react to camping is to plan a backyard camping trip. This will allow you to have everything you need, especially a readily accessible bathroom, within easy reach. If the children get too scared sleeping “away from home,” their own bed is close by.