Calling All Campers

Spring is here and so is the time for an American tradition—camping. When I visit state parks I’m always fascinated by the campgrounds and campers. They come from all walks of life and are as unique as the camping units they camp in.

Some decorate their campsites for Halloween and the 4th of July. Others bring bicycles, boats and satellite dishes. Some campers carry all of their equipment on their backs while others tow theirs behind a car or truck.

No matter what your camping style is, once you’ve set up camp everything else seems less important than before. The world slows down and it’s easier to talk to someone, and everybody is willing to lend a hand. Campsites are full of board games, stories and doing nothing. Throw in a hike, a swim and a visit by a park ranger and you have a memory in the making. Camping is also a relaxing way to meet other people. A typical camper conversation begins with simple introductions such as, “How are you doing?” or “Where are y’all from?” Before you know it, you’ve made a new friend.

Not only is camping about family and friends and getting to know new people, it’s also about experiencing the world slowing down and even changing. While you’re outdoors, it feels like it gets late earlier and you also wake up earlier, but none of this seems to matter much. There’s nothing like the breaking of dawn, the sounds of birds waking you up with morning songs and sitting by a campfire and enjoying a quiet moment when it’s just you and the outdoors.

There are as many camping experiences as there are people, and South Carolina state parks offer the perfect campsite for you and your family. Whether you prefer to hike to your campsite on the trail at Jones Gap State Park, camp at the same site that your grandparents used to visit at Oconee or hook up to the new campsites with 50 amp service at Lake Greenwood, state parks has a campsite to fit your needs. If you don’t have a tent, camper or R.V., try the camper cabins at Lake Hartwell, where all you need is your supplies and sleeping bag. If camping in a tent isn’t for you, then State Parks’ has a solution. Instead of camping outdoors, try sitting outdoors by the fire until bed time and then heading inside to the warmth and comfort of a state park cabin.

Wherever you go, remember that camping is about the little things that turn into a lifetime of memories. Spring time is for campers, so no matter what your camping style is, it’s time to head out to the parks.

See you in the parks!

Phil