Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Connecting with Nature through Camping

Richard Louv started a nation-wide movement to get children re-engaged to nature in his best selling book Last Child in the Woods. As a result of this book we now have an effort to get an addition to the No Child Left Behind K-12 legislation that is called No Child Left Inside. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has signed on to this effort that would provide more environmental education.

As we enter spring, it is a good time for families to start thinking about camping. There is no better way to connect to nature than to spend the night outside in a natural setting. Growing up, camping with the Boy Scouts had a greater influence on my appreciation for nature than anything else. Last weekend I completed a training course to lead Girl Scout groups on camping trips (that's me in the photo practicing knots as part of the training).

Camping can be both an inexpensive vacation in uncertain financial times, and a great way to bond with the family. One of the best things about camping is that it takes you out of the normal daily routine, and away from computers, and other electronic devices. You will likely have some of your best conversations around the campfire because to are away from the many modern distractions of life.

For those who would like more comfort than tent camping, or are not experienced at camping, a great option is one of the rustic cabins that we have at both Bull Run Regional Park and Pohick Bay Regional Park. These cabins are in the campground, but have heating and cooling, a small refrigerator and microwave. They have a bed room with both double bed and bunk bed, and the front room has a futon that can sleep two. These cabins can be a great choice for those that are not interested in tent camping but want the camp experience. Both parks have wonderful pools, trails, camp stores, and playgrounds. Pohick Bay also has the waterfront with rental canoes and kayaks, and a boat ramp for your power boat. There are many other amenities at both parks, but the thing you will likely enjoy the most is having a great time with family and/or friends in a natural setting.

If ever there was a year to put camping on your list of things to do, this is it!

For information on camping or cabin rentals go to:
Rustic Cabins at Pohick Bay
Rustic Cabins at Bull Run
Camping at Bull Run
Camping at Pohick Bay

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