Those of us lucky enough to have been on childhood camping trips generally have fond memories of a truly magical experience, one that we want to recreate for our own kids. Camping is the ideal way for families to bond and spend quality time together in nature, away from the distractions of the modern world.
Opportunities for camping here in Cottage Country are endless with some excellent campgrounds provided by Ontario Parks, as well as various private facilities to choose from.
One of my family’s favourites is the K.O.A. Campground in Marmora. It’s convenient to reach by Trans-Canada Highway 7 but far enough away from the highway to allow for a peaceful, authentic camping experience. A family campground, it boasts both an outdoor and indoor pool (with a hot tub for parents to relax in) as well as a mini golf course, fun cycles for rent, kids play area and volleyball courts.
One of the many reasons we loved this K.O.A. so much was the mini lake. Within easy walking distance of the campsite, it’s where we would go for a moonlight stroll each night to watch the fireflies dancing over the long grass as we listened to the frog calls from the water. The kids remember this experience as one of the highlights of their trip.
Emily Park in Omemee is another favourite of ours. With two sandy beaches bordering Pigeon River, there’s plenty of room for swimming, boating, and fishing, as well as biking on the trails.
Whether you choose to camp in a tent, a tent trailer, or take your RV – here are a few tips to make the experience easier when you have young kids:
• Marshmallows – they have to be at the top of the list because it wouldn’t be camping without S’mores!
• Bring books, paper and lots of coloured pencils for possible rainy days (it’s also the perfect opportunity to take leaf and bark rubbings)
• Pack lots of extra snack bars and drinks for the kids – exploring the woods is hungry work!
• First Aid Kit – your little explorers are bound to need a Band-Aid at some point or at very least a bug bite treatment.
• Flashlights – there is nothing the little ones love more than having their own flashlight to explore in the dark with.
• Waterproof clothes – rain does not usually squash a child’s desire to explore – so be prepared. And rope for a clothesline to hang wet clothes to dry helps too!
by Moira Gale