PA CAMPING, Bringing Back the Family Vacation

Hickory Run, Shady Oak, Starlite and Sun Valley are indelibly etched in my mind with childhood memories. These were the special places I learned to love the outdoors – where I played, scraped my knees and realized that being a bit of a tomboy wasn’t so bad after all. They were magical places where strangers became friends in the time it took to skip a stone.

The days were filled with adventures as big as my imagination could conjure up. No television, computer or video games. Who needed them? We had rope swings, creeks, pools, and the open woods.

Besides hours of outdoor adventures, camping provided the best kid-food ever made! Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and s’mores. Fresh air must have a positive effect on kids – no arguing about eating vegetables. Hot baked potatoes, corn on the cob and an occasional stick of celery covered with peanut butter; all vegetables, I rest my case. Today, watching your cholesterol, carbs and calories has practically become a pastime. Watching my brother shove marshmallow after marshmallow in his mouth to see if he could break his record was great fun back then.

I remember thinking, “how’d we get so lucky?” What I didn’t realize and probably didn’t care about was that my parents enjoyed themselves as much as the kids. They always seemed so much more relaxed sitting on their aluminum chairs with the green and yellow nylon webbing.

Today, camping holds the same magic for millions every year. It is the one getaway that spans the generations. Whether it’s a couple roughing it in primitive sites or a family enjoying the comfort of camping in an RV, all enjoy the freedom of a vacation where you set the agenda for the day. That’s if you have one.

Even campers who don’t have their own tent or camper can enjoy a camping vacation, since many campgrounds offer cabins and cottages. Rustic cabins have just the essentials: beds and a table. Others are equipped with a kitchen, shower and separate bedrooms.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, campground operators find themselves having to provide more activities for campers. In fact, many have activity directors who organize everything from Hawaiian Luaus to Survivor competitions. Bands and deejays provide entertainment that makes a night out, really a night out. Because many campgrounds are family operated the attention to creating a memorable family experience for campers, just comes natural. With over 300 campgrounds in Pennsylvania, you’re sure to find one to do just that!

Looking for a great PA Camping Experience? Go to The THINGS TO DO page on Click on OUTDOOR RECREATION, then check CAMPING. You will be able to search the entire state or narrow your search to a region.


About WherenWendy

I am the blogger for Where & When, Pennsylvania's Travel Guide, a quarterly print magazine and online source for what's going on in PA.
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