First Camping Trip

As the Great American Campout approaches, celebrating another year of connecting families across the country for a night under the stars, we are excited to greet the weekend with more families joining Chipper on camping adventures. This week, we’d like to share the story of a family just building their camping traditions. With two active kids, jobs, and daily life Jill and her husband, Sean, haven’t lost sight of the opportunity to just pause and be present with the experience of watching their children make their way into the great outdoors.


The Melchionda Family’s First Camping Trip:

Preparing for our first overnight foray proved to be a bit of work – between buying new gear, meal planning, packing bags for the whole family and getting everything in the car, I have to admit I was wiped out by the time we hit the road! But, for the kids, the planning and preparation was a big part of the fun. They delighted in packing and unpacking their backpacks, had a blast breaking in new sleeping bags on the stairs, testing flashlights – in each other eyes – and choosing which favorite toys to bring along.

To prepare for what to expect on our camping adventure, we read stories about camping and made our list of the things we hoped to see on our adventure. For my kids, this list included:

• roasting marshmallows and making s’mores
• ghost stories
• looking at stars
• getting dirty
• waking up really, really early in the morning

I agreed that I liked those things too, except the waking-up early part. My list also included watching my kids play in the campsite, the sounds of their laughter against the backdrop of crickets & a crackling fire, snuggling up as a family in our tent and the smell of the smoke in their hair. Helping the kids prepare for the camping experience was an important part of the process – it helped them know what to expect, and to enjoy the experience fully. Happy to report that our trip was a success, we returned home happy, tired and very, very dirty.