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Mom, Dad-I'm Bored!
By Jennifer Keen Wertz
Life is busy - often hectic, and the need to re-energize has become a universal priority. Camping is a wonderfully inexpensive escape from life's hustle and bustle, as well as a great way to spend quality time with family and friends.
There are many campgrounds for those seeking the camping experience. Some offer an idyllic setting promoting reflection and relaxation; others offer a plethora of activities to engage and delight. Today's camping family is a diverse one with myriad interests. Everyone has different ideas of ways in which to spend their leisure time. As there are many campgrounds from which to choose, knowing what's important to your family will help you select a park that is right for you. Is it important for your family to have access to a pool? Do you prefer lake-swimming? Boating? Fishing? Are you looking for organized activities for children and adults alike? Once you've determined your family's priorities, delve into the listings in this guide for help in selecting your camping destination.
Campgrounds with a planned activity program are often a good choice. They can provide scheduled events to keep young and old as busy as they choose to be. Selecting a destination with a complete program allows more time for overall relaxation as the need to seek outside attractions diminishes. Interaction creates long-lasting friendships and promotes future outings to reunite.
The key to the success of an activity program is the people who plan and implement it. They are often superstars filled with energy, warmth, patience, and a multitude of ideas. They play a variety of roles-umpire, cheerleader, teacher-who operate on a shoestring budget, yet remain resourceful and creative. They are flexible, yet gently in control, applauding those enjoying victory and nurturing those new to an experience. It is a challenge to be the "Pied Piper of the Park," yet the rewards are great.
We have made a commitment to our guests and have developed a summer program that is broad in scope and offers something for everyone. A typical day at Keen Lake might find a wide-eyed toddler listening to Mrs. Clown read stories in the beach gazebo, a parent and child puzzling over a scavenger hunt item, or the young-at-'art' working diligently at creating a ceramic masterpiece. A softball game is in progress, new friendships are being formed at the bocce ball courts, and young children are enjoying their first swimming lessons at the pool. Boaters, anglers and sunbathers bask in their solitary pleasure, while laughter and squeals of delight waft overhead as the belly bumper relay begins. The night skies are brightened by campfires, and music filters from the Red Barn.
Our theme week-ends bring families back year after year. Our Halloween weekend features Witchy Poo, a lovable character who leads magic ball, hokey pokey, apple bobbing events and ends the celebration with a haunted nature hike and costume parade. Other favorites include the annual Olympics complete with opening-of-games torch lighting and end-of-games presentation of medals. Almost anything goes as guests participate in belly bumper relays, sack races, and pie eating contests. We hope that our guests feel the time they spend with us is both memorable and restful. And we're never happier than when a departing guests tells us simply, "Thanks. We had fun."
Jennifer Keen Wertz is the general manager of Keen Lake Campground and Cottage Resort. Jennifer, who is part of the second-generation of the Keen family, is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and enjoys antiquing, interior design, and traveling in the off season.
Excerpted from Woodall's Plan-It·Pack-It·Go...