How did an Oakland girl like me come to love getting her camp on anyway? Pt. 3

After getting married and starting a family of my own, camping took on a new meaning. For just a short drive and little money, I found camping was one of the most economical ways my new family could take a vacation. During these years I collected essential camping gear, like our first family-sized tent and propane stove from local garage sales and eBay — my family still uses these items today.

But as my family grew, so did the effort of camping. Thus the city of Oakland’s Feather River family camp, situated about two- hundred miles north, became a very attractive option for us. For about $75 per day back then, our family could camp at their beautiful developed site where: three delicious meals a day were prepared (and announced with the toll of a bell), a kind nurse dispensed an endless supply of band-aids, platform tents and cots were already set up, and a refreshingly cool swimming hole was observed by attentive lifeguards. Another bonus of family camp, were the many fun, organized activities and special relationships we developed with the other Oakland families we joined each summer.

Now my children (ages 12, 7, and 6) love the outdoors and every February they begin humming camp songs around the house and double check with me to make sure we are registered for the upcoming summer season!

Aside from our annual Family Camp, we also venture out on local hikes or family bike rides at least monthly. My eldest son is a Boy Scout and he is now developing outdoor skills and going on camping trips with his peers just as I did at his age. I recognize that the fun my kids have now in the natural world is the foundation for a love and engagement with nature that lasts a lifetime and is likely to be shared with their own children.

I still do enjoy tent camping sometimes, but I find that as I approach the big Four-O, I more frequently choose to balance comfort with my outdoor fun — nights of sleeping on just a tarp under the stars have passed me by. I now fantasize often about a future of creeping along the highways in a well-equipped RV, enjoying each state of the Americas, one campground at a time.

Catch-up!: Part 1, Part 2

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  • Ms. Bar B:

    Oh darn. And I was just about to ask if you had room in your family tent, on your family trip for two more, lol.

  • Rue

    You should try family camp Barbara — it’s not too late to sign up and I think you would love it — see my link on the upper right.

  • Caroline

    Hey there! Found you on twitter and love your site! My hubs and I are Ebayers and garage salers….man, the deals that can be had! I envy you that you take the time for nature like you do. Our family has really gone green because of our 4 yr old son who had severe Eczema and allergies. We had to out of necessity, read labels and get rid of anything that was not pure and natural. It has really been quite a blessing. I probably would not have seen this “light” had it not been for his Vidazorb probiotic that has really made him sooo much better. I am so thankful we started him on them and that now that he is better, our world has changed. We are a family who loves and craves natural products and foods. What a lifestyle change…it is wonderful :) Glad to have found you and look forward to catching up on all your site stuff. Caroline *mommy of two

  • Rue

    Hi Caroline! So glad you found me! Yes, Ebay was a GREAT way to get our camping gear in order (among many things) — especially if you know exactly what to buy.

    Great news about how your lifestyle was a blessing in disguise! Thanks for checking in and I look forward to your tweets too Caroline!

  • hiking in stilettos

    I love the idea of traveling through the US via RV. How fun would that be with your family?! Keep up the great blog!

  • Rue

    Yes ‘hiking in stilettos’ — and RV’s are certainly more stiletto friendly! Thanks for stopping by and the encouragement!

  • Shawnice

    I can’t wait to tell my husband that I found another blog about African American campers.

    Nice site!

    Shawnice with http://www.blackcampers.com

  • Rue

    Hi Shawnice!

    I am so glad we found each other! — you know we much stick together right? lol. I will add you to my blog roll ASAP and would love for you to share your adventures with Outdoor Afro this summer and beyond!

    Be outdside,
    Rue