NATURE'S CALLING - GIVE FAMILY CAMPING A TRY
(Active Alex 3/2012 - Full Article)
By Josh McGalliard
With the weather warming and summer closely approaching, it’s time to think about getting outdoors and experiencing some quality family time in the environment. Camping is a great family activity.
Nearby Jordan Lake
is a great place to get started, even if it is your family’s first time camping. Jordan Lake has a lot to offer; for instance, reserving your campsite online before ever leaving the comfort of your home. There are a variety of campsites available, catering to your preference: $13 for primitive, $20 for an upgrade to a picnic table and grill, and $25 for a spot with electricity.
For those looking for a more primitive interaction with the environment, Jordan Lake also offers hike-in campsites where you can park and walk into the woods to set up camp at New Hope Overlook. Gwen Gordon, avid camper and hiker in the Raleigh area, recommends this route to fully experience the serenity of nature while spending time with family. “The New Hope Overlook hike-in sites are great for families beginning to camp,” says Gordon.
Rangers at the lake regularly hold educational sessions for parents and kids new to the outdoors in order to familiarize them with the surroundings. Scheduled sessions can be found online so that you can coordinate your camping dates with these meetings. In addition to being able to coordinate these sessions with your trip, they are also free for all campers!
So what do you do while camping at the lake?
Luis Guzman, a Jordan regular, said, “I like to let my kids run around, make fires, swim, fish, climb trees, sing and joke around.” Guzman also has a “no electronics besides cameras” policy in order to maximize the amount of time he and his kids get to interact with nature together.
What to Bring?
If you are starting to camp and have no clue what to bring, that’s ok! Camping gear can often vary depending on where you decide to go but the basics should include tents, sleeping bags, water, easy-to-make food, and materials for fire starting.
Another activity that a family can participate in while swimming or fishing off the banks is watching for American bald eagles to swoop overhead. That’s because Jordan Lake is host to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the eastern United States, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation
So go ahead and take your family away from the hectic bustle of everyday life. Get outdoors and let your family enjoy nature at its best!
For the First-Time Camper:
- Information about NC State Parks, camping, events and on-Line reservations can be found at www.ncparks.gov
. Choose Jordan Lake (or any park) from the pull-down on the left to get the details.
Take Your Mom Camping Weekend
The Town of Cary, Wake County and REI team up for this “learn to camp” program for ages 6 and up on May 11th at Harris Lake County Park. Great introduction to the fun of camping including instruction on gear, cooking, hiking, canoeing/kayaking, nature study, fishing and geocaching and more. $25 for Cary residents, $33 for non-residents. It fills so sign-up soon. Cary course code 56496 on EZ-REG
The City of Raleigh offers a Wilderness Survival Course
for ages 8-12 at Durant Nature Park just in case. The Level 1: Shelter and Fire Course is only $8 and can be found on page 17 of the Leisure Ledger. Raleigh course codes 119750 and 119757, for February 25 and April 21, respectively.
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