It’s not exactly a hot take to say that camping is awesome, but it’s something I never really got into until I was an adult. Growing up in the Lakes Region, if the family was up in the mountains or at the lake all day, we always just went home to our beds. I don’t think camping was something that ever occurred to my parents because, well, we were already here.
I went camping for the first time with my best friend Cori and her family in the summer during our middle school years. It’s important to note that when I say “camping,” I mean her mom slept in an RV and us kids had an extension cord out to our tent that hooked up to a small TV we brought so we could stack it on top of a crate and watch the movie “Clueless” as we fell asleep. Not only will I add a “don’t knock it” right here, but I’ll recommend this incentive for tweens all day! Where did we set up camp? Right here at Gunstock.
Up until that one time, I had not known that Gunstock even had a campground. I had never camped so I knew nothing about camping or what was available to begin with, but I was surprised and impressed to find out that my home mountain could be used as a place to “rough it,” though obviously I’m using the term very loosely. We brought bikes, there were bathrooms, and there was a playground so us youths could go loiter and eat too much candy.
The best part was the quality time. Eating food cooked over a fire that we sat around laughing and telling stories, fishing in the pond, and stargazing. Somehow, even the smell of bug spray was made special when grouped in with the rest of it. Trying out various marshmallow roasting tactics to see which made the best s’mores, flashlight tag, running around with wet hair and pine needles stuck to us. It was a vibe.
I’ve been camping on less occasions than I would like since then, but it’s brought me to some pretty incredible experiences in the mountains, along the coast, by rivers, beaches, and even the desert. I have been increasingly attracted to camping just over the past few years, and especially following a year when we all had to avoid public places and each other. What was there to do? Go outside, move around and just be, was the answer for many of us. I invested in my very first tent last summer (kind of a big deal) and have since begun accumulating more gear to set up the perfect campsite. I also discovered that I could make a really good jambalaya with some light prep and a camp stove and am really excited to expand my woodsy culinary skills. And even though I'm lucky to live a short drive from the mountains and the lakes, every now and then, there's just nothing like a staycation in a tent!
I look forward to many camping trips ahead, but I’ll always look back fondly on that first time camping at Gunstock and giggle to myself, and maybe send Cori a text saying, “Oh my God, I love Josh!”
Interested in camping at Gunstock? The Campground is within walking distance to our award-winning Adventure Park, hiking trails, and pond. There are platform and regular tent sites, RV accommodations, and different scenic areas to choose from. There is also a pool, laundry, and bathroom facilities. Our Camp Store has all the provisions you need to set up a great site. Check out campsite types and rates and make your reservation now! The s’more the merrier!