Last weekend, my fam and a whole bunch of our pals headed to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest for the first time. Of the 17 of us, only two could claim the title of “regular campers,” so the rest were out of our comfort zones for sure! But because I’d previously deemed this the Summer of Try New Things, we happily schlepped our way out of suburban comforts and into nature.
I learned a lot about camping–or, glamping if I’m being honest–from our trip, and wanted to share my newfound knowledge with my fellow novices out there:
- Camping is a TON of work. The packing, the prepping, the cooking, the anticipating what we just might possibly need–getting there is a job, man.
- Camping is a TON of fun. Like with most everything, practice makes perfect, and I have a feeling that if we camp more often, I’ll perfect a system that’ll make the experience seem less cumbersome and more let’s-have-some-fun (see what I did there?).
- FACT: food absolutely tastes better when made on an open fire or over charcoals.
- Camping is way more affordable than most other summer vacations. So if you want relaxation and time away but don’t want to spend the kids’ college fund, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest is where it’s at. In fact, from bike rentals, cornhole tournaments, the Jump Zone, 18-hole mini-golf, shuffleboard, swimming, GaGa Ball–and that’s not even the whole list!–once we were on site, I didn’t even need my wallet.
- Speaking of GaGa Ball, if you don’t know what it is, you’re not alone. It’s too wordy to explain so read this, but I learned it originated in Israel and the word “Ga” means “hit” or “touch” in Hebrew, and now you’re smarter than you were a second ago. OH! And I have to mention something that warmed my little black heart: a couple other moms and I were watching the youngin’s play GaGa Ball, asking questions about how to do what and why–you know, annoying mom stuff. Finally, we worked up the nerve to get in the pit and try our hand at the game. Before I knew what was happening, a wall of girls had formed in front of me, promising to keep me safe. Not gonna lie, I got a little verklempt right then. Here were these sweet gals who didn’t know me from Eve, but they recognized a fellow female in need and rallied ’round her. YES, LADIES! YES! #GirlPower Which brings me to #6…
6. Camping = community. I’ve never met kinder, more helpful people than when camping. Need help moving a picnic table? They’re on it. Your kid wants to hang at their bonfire? Done. You’re an old fart afraid of being smashed in the face during GaGa Ball? THEY SHALL PROTECT YOU. Camping is like an alternate universe that exists on the fringe of the rest of the world; a place void of heavy adulting and easy on the stress. WHICH REMINDS ME…
7. We had no iPads, didn’t watch TV, and I wasn’t glued to my cell as per normal. And ya know what?! I slept better at night. I did NOT see that coming; I don’t even sleep well in posh hotel beds! Apparently without screens, I don’t obsess over current events and that kind of mental clarity begets a more restful sleep. WHO WOULD’VE THUNK IT?! Kozy Rest let me turn off my brain and that right there is the biggest benefit of camping.
The Jump Zone was a fan favorite for these boys!
8. There are so many activities scheduled throughout the day, no kid could complain of being bored! Between coloring t-shirts, mining for gems, swimming, dancing in foam, riding bikes–the days are truly tailored to the kiddos.
Even #HusbandWTF got in on the mining! Let it be known I was dominating in the cornhole tournament finals when this picture was taken. *pops collar*
9. Yogi Bear will visit your campsite to say goodnight to the littles! The youngest of our group was adamant that Yogi was actually Mickey Mouse, and we let her believe it because who wants to rain on that adorable parade?!
10. Our time at Kozy Rest really was fantastic. The cabins were spotless, and the entire site was obviously loved and cared for. I loved meeting new campers, petting their dogs, and spending quality time with our family and friends. If you’re hoping for a slower paced vacation, Kozy Rest is the answer. Happy