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Gather around the campfire But sleep in a comfy bed


Imagine the family gathering around the fire telling ghost stories, cooking over the open flame and pitching the tents - the joys of camping!

For many Massachusetts families, coming to the Mount Washington Valley to go camping  is indeed a ritual of family bonding. I know - we were such a family, as are many of our friends. We made our first trip when our youngest was 2, the oldest was 12. My husband was excited as we packed up the 4 kids, the gear and sped off to Mt Washington Valley from Beverly, MA. "Haven't you done enough camping during your Army stints?" I asked. Mark looked at me "but this is fun camping. You'll love it."

At White Lake State Park campground in Tamworth we unpacked our gear and I learned how to pitch a tent. The kids loved it! Off they went to swim and explore. We had hot dogs & mac n cheese (fun to cook over the open flame - not fun to clean up after) and we told scary campground stories after dark. Days 1-3 were pretty much idyllic.

Then it rained - not fun. Our oldest, Ryan, in a desperate move to self-entertain grabbed my copy of The Da Vinci code and finished it by the end of the day.

I learned later, from my girlfriends, that the secret to camping is this: stay for the fun stuff then leave! Or - get a good night's sleep - not on an air mattress or, worse, a sleeping bag - stay in the family cabin. It turns out many of our friends have either inherited camps or bought cabins - greatly enhancing both the number of trips to MWV and the quality of the trips.

JtRealty agent David Emmet was jubilant about leaving for his upcoming camping trip, heading out with a group of friends. I asked David what he liked best about camping. "For me, I guess, it's getting away from the grind for a couple of days and watching the seasons turn. We fish for Brook Trout, eat great food. We burn enough wood to heat a normal house for a week, and sleep under the stars. Or in my case, in the back of my Suburban," said David, an avid outdoorsman with a great appreciation for nature.

But he also knows the value of not sleeping on the ground!


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