A New Kind of Circus Camping

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Most of the time we use camping as a cheap way sleep on vacations.  We have the goal of visiting every National Park and the way we approach it is by spending pretty much every ounce of our time exploring the park. Most days we usually end  watching a sunset, and often the best spot for viewing the sunset is not from our campsite, which gets us to our camp site in time to set up camp in the dark.  We sleep, wake up, make a quick breakfast, tear down camp and set off to see more sights.  We love it!  We have so many wonderful memories of places we’ve experienced and explored this way.
But, it isn’t the typical drive up to your site, set up camp and settle down for a few days.  That is an entirely different style of camping.  That style of camping involves bringing lots more gear, and making more elaborate meals (than say oatmeal in a jet boil and Subway for lunch). 

We have our sights set on another elaborate National Park vacation for 2016, but we need to save up another year to make it possible.  So, this year we decided to opt for the standard pull the van up to one site and stay there for several days style of camping.
Ironically even though we have camped for YEARS, we have done very little camping this way and have lots to learn to improve it.  (We made two Walmart trips during our camping stay this week). 
But, we found that we enjoy this style of camping just as much as the other. 
Due to a change of plans in our weekend, we arrived at our campsite after dark Sunday night (it felt very much like our normal camping situation).  We set up camp and made our beds and settled into our sleeping bags around 11pm Sunday night.
I found our campground by googling “state parks in PA with a pool.”  The campground ended up being perfect for our wants.  We knew we’d be coming from State College PA after my moms bday party (though due to a change of plans on Friday we ended up coming from Latrobe, which made for a longer drive on Sun, hence the late night arrival)…. we were basically looking for a spot to camp for a few days between State College and home and we wanted it to have a pool.  When I discovered Caledonia State Park, I discovered it was actually only about 20 minutes from Gettysburg.  Since we studied the Civil War in History last year I had been intending to take the kids there and never made it.  My oldest was so excited when we told him we’d be visiting during our vacation.  We spent two and a half days lounging around the camp site and one day visiting the battlefield.  (no matter what we do, even on years we are breaking from our National Park vacations, we find ourselves visiting a branch of the National Park service… last year it was Boston and this year Gettysburg). 
We ate like kings.  Our Boy Scout was happy to share many of the meals he has made on scouting trips.
Hot Gooey Holes
Omelets in a Bag
IMG_1864 IMG_1869
Pita Pizzas
And of course no campfire would be complete without Smores!
(Boy Scouts didn’t invent everything about camping)
More to come on our camping trip…. (click here)


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