I'm a doer. I like to make lists, feel productive, and stay pretty busy all the time. Whether it be work, fitness classes, house cleaning, or shopping, I'm always doing something. Most of the time, I'm pretty happy with this flow. It's my norm. It's what gives me satisfaction at the end of the day. However, this past weekend, I learned a new lesson at a southern Ohio campground called Rocky Fork Ranch.
It must have been about fifteen years ago when I received a mailed advertisement promising if you took the hour and a half drive to rural Kimbolton, Ohio. To check out an up-and-coming campground, you wouldn't regret your decision, and it even offered a free prize! Now, most of the time, I'm not duped by bogus offers like this and don't easily fall into schemes and traps, but something told me: why not go check it out? Before I had children or a career, I was curious, and my boyfriend, now husband, offered to come along.
We weren't super impressed, to be honest. It was out in the middle of literally nowhere and was hundreds of acres of wooded hills and didn't boast much but a pond, a put-put golf area, a couple of pools, a basketball hoop, horse barns, and some modest cabins currently under construction. I kindly told the salesperson we weren't into camping, horses, golfing, kayaking, and zero interest in buying the membership they were begging to sell me. Then, they snagged my attention with an added bonus of paying an extra $100 fee per year to use vacation condos all over the US at any time of year. Now, this was intriguing to me. So, I signed the papers, made the financial commitment, and walked out of there, not even knowing what happened.
Fast forward about seven years, my husband and I were now parents of two toddlers and new homeowners, and I dug out my old Rocky Fork information and decided, why don't we check out this camping thing? So, we did. We bought us a decent tent, some sleeping bags, and other equipment and embarked on our journey to see if it was for us or not. We never turned back. Last year, I even bought a 33-foot camper to upgrade from our tent, and we have taken tons of friends and family members along to enjoy our mini-vacation with us too!
We have conquered campfire breakfasts, hiking, biking, and even some horse riding over the years, and my kids absolutely love going and look forward to it every summer/fall. It's our favorite place.
This weekend was chilly and technically preseason, but we went anyway to kick off spring break week for my kids. We swam, played basketball, and took the dog for walks. As I reflected on what makes this place so magical, relaxing, and special to us, I realized something pretty profound. It's forced boredom. There's no schoolwork, no TV (well, pre-camper era anyway), no classes or sports, no household chores or shopping. We are forced to enjoy each other's company and SLOW DOWN. I used to think this kind of dullness was dreadful, but now I LONG for it. And so do my kids. We thoroughly enjoy just sitting around a fire roasting smores, watching sunsets, or star gazing. For whatever reason, we don't make time to do these things at home, but when we go camping, we truly LIVE. It's amazing how nature can bring out the wonder in my children, who are now nine and ten years old, and even myself! I'm so thankful I made that crazy decision so long ago to buy into a camping membership I almost knew nothing about because now, it's our most treasured place to go and be blissfully bored together.
How very true. Camping is an escape from real life. No life worries while your camping. Enjoying family and wildlife what could be any better.