“Who knew you would enjoy the outdoors?” a good friend of mine remarked when I told her how much I enjoyed our overnight camping trip this weekend.

Being sun averse makes being outdoors more challenging, but with adequate UV protection, I have found a way to enjoy nature without the adverse effects. Camping holds even more challenges, as I have certain requirements such as moderately clean restroom facilities, comfortable sleeping quarters, and a way to store and prepare food that doesn’t compromise its taste or safety.

Our family eased into the camping experience with three annual trips to a company beach house that a friend had access to each summer. One of the three years, we stayed indoors in the beach house bedroom, but the other two times, we camped with the others outside on the lawn in tents. However, we had the luxury of a fully equipped kitchen and two restrooms with hot showers at our disposal.

This would be the first time I would be camping without electricity, a kitchen, and private restrooms. Kudos to Hubby who went to great lengths to research and acquire the necessary items to make my first real camping experience a good one.

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Hubby worked tirelessly before, during, and after the camping trip — and I am so grateful for all his effort that made this weekend so enjoyable. I am truly a blessed woman.

We had the pleasure of camping with several families from our church. They all had children ranging in age from 1 year old to teens. Lil’ K was never at a loss for a playmate on this camping trip. As an only child, this is a big deal.

Bellows has a nice mix of different terrain to enjoy. Our campsite was nestled amongst towering ironwood trees, giving the children many places to explore and feel like adventurers. Then, a short walk down the way provided access to the gorgeous beach where they enjoyed the sand and sea. It was so wonderful to see the children playing for hours together in nature — without TV, iPods, or anything electronic. This is how childhood should be.

Being (mostly) unplugged was therapeutic for me as well. It was soothed my soul to sit down and take in the beauty around me without the daily grind and pressures of homeschooling, work, housekeeping, cooking, caregiving, etc. pressing in around me. I feel so much closer to God when I am out in His creation and without the many distractions of life buzzing in my head.

We made many fond memories on this camping trip: fun at the beach, adventuring in the forest, time at the playground, night beachwalk by the light of glowsticks and flashlights, sleeping as snug as a bug in our tent, making new friends, enjoying s’mores by the campfire, and sharing simple meals together.  So much to be thankful for that we packed into just two days and one night.

This outing has made me a camping addict. We are already planning the next outing. And next time, we hope to go for three nights instead of just one.

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One Response to Camping Overnighter

  1. Lauren says:

    Ah, it was therapeutic just reading about your trip! My friends & I used to camp at Bellows & Ho’omaluhia every so often & we always had a wonderful time. Your comment about children playing in nature resonates particularly deeply with me; watching my young nephew grow up, I wish he could experience trees & bugs & dirt the way I did.

    I wish I could do something like that now, as an adult, but between single parenting my dogs & my nature-hating boyfriend, that will probably not happen any time soon. Please write again, profusely, the next time you go, so that I may reap the vicarious benefit. =)

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