One weekend, one word.

Glamping with Kids at the KOA Campgrounds

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With every adventure comes risk, right? My friend Angie has a website all about having Risky Kids and intentionally raising free-range kids when it comes to play. A few weeks ago, my daughter asked me if she could do something and I said, “No,” simply because it wasn’t what I had planned for the afternoon. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that sometimes I say no on autopilot.

When Trekaroo and KOA invited our family to come for a visit, I thought that it would be fun to just let go of any plans and preconceived ideas of what the weekend would be like behind the yellow sign. We chose to stay in a deluxe cabin at the KOA Kampground in Monroe, Michigan, very close to Toledo and then we set off on our adventure of being a “Yes” Mom and Dad. My husband Jacob and I weren’t going to say no to our kids the entire weekend!

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Leading up to the trip, I spent a good amount of time beating myself up a bit about glamping instead of camping. When I told people I was camping, I’d put air quotes around “camping” and as we entered our beautiful, clean cabin the first night, I felt guilty. This was going to be nothing like the camping I experienced as a child with my family. There would be no sleeping on the ground, breathing tracked in dirt off of the tarp like flooring of a tent. Usually the tent smelled of mildew from rainy nights, followed by year round storage in the garage.

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My “camping” guilt started to dissipate as we settled in and discussed cooking food over an open fire. The guilt was completely gone by 10 am on Saturday. We woke up ready to take on the day and we decided that anything was a go. They wanted chocolate donuts and milk for breakfast… AND s’mores. Yes!

We put together a picnic lunch, packed up the binoculars and readied ourselves to walk around and check out what nature had to offer. Since it was a yes weekend, the girls wanted to ride their bikes first, then we ended up playing on the campground playground and finally we prepared for our walkabout. And then, two year old Scoutie put a pebble up her nose and couldn’t find it… “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” she yelled.

No. No! NO!

You know what you don’t find on those camping packing lists on Pinterest? Medical insurance card. Yeah, you need one of those when you end up in urgent care on a camping trip. Now we’re camping! Thankfully, we weren’t too far away from help and everything was taken care of quickly.

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We spent the afternoon checking out trails, identifying native grasses and trees near the Raisin River and watching birds through binoculars.

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“Can we skip nap today?” Yes. Instead of resting, we filled our time playing in the lake, getting muddy and sandy, playing with other adventure seeking children, digging moats around sand castles with spoons that our new friends swiped from their grandparents’ motor-home and recruiting new builders on the playground above the waterfront.

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“Do fairies live in these woods?” Yes. So we collect sticks and bark and build twig lean-tos for whimsical visitors.

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“Can I have a hamburger AND a hotdog for dinner?” Yes. We teach the girls to cook food at a campfire, finishing with what they’ve been waiting for… s’mores.

With sticky fingers and chocolate smudged faces, we all huddle together on the deck, watching our camping neighbors stroll by in the dark, hearing the buzz of mosquitos and the nighttime noises of getting ready for bed — tent and sleeping bag zippers, running water from hose bibs, squeals of laughter and crackling logs.

I don’t really know how old I was when my parents took me tent camping for the first time, but I don’t think it was when my siblings and I were 6 months, 2 and 4 years old. I’m looking forward to checking out more KOA Kampgrounds and staying in more deluxe cabins – running water, separate bunk bed and queen sized bedrooms and a kitchen — perfect camping for our family!

I have received a complimentary stay at a Monroe County KOA via Kampgrounds of America. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post for


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