Camping Allows Disconnect from Technology-Driven Life
As the dog days of summer are firmly settled in New England, and residents are looking to get away without breaking the bank, a money-saving, family-oriented and stress-free getaway is closer than they realize.
Campgrounds near Fitchburg, Mass., are enticing families with economical, relaxing and fun ways to spend their vacation away from home and work, the Sentinel and Enterprise reported.
Paul Fiola, owner of The Pines Campground in Ashby, said camping is making a revival across the country.
“They’re selling campers like crazy. A lot of people are retiring and selling everything and going into big motorhomes and traveling the country,” Fiola said. “Where can you go for vacation with a family of five for $38 a night? You just can’t do that.”
He said the Pines, located just off Route 31, offers activities for children, and the biggest problem his campground encounters is that the kids don’t want to leave.
“We have more kids screaming and hollering as they leave the campground,” he says.
The campground offers a variety of amenities including a camp store, firewood, swimming pool, shower facilities, eating areas with fireplaces, playgrounds and a rec room, Fiola said.
They also host various family activities, including Christmas in July and Halloween in August.
Judith Summer, recreation director in Leominster, said camping is a way for families to stay connected with each other while enjoying the great outdoors at the same time.
“I really encourage parents to be outside with their children and let them connect with nature. It’s a great fitness thing for them. You can do it close to home with fairly reasonable prices,” she said. “People had gotten away from camping because they were doing big trips like Disney World and big destinations.”
But, she said, as finances become tighter and families are searching for cheaper vacations, camping is the ideal trip.
“I think people are looking for more family things close to home. I know for some families, it’s a tradition for them and they go every year. They have favorite places they go to,” she explained. “With my children, we spent a lot of time in Ashby. My kids grew up at campgrounds.”
Camping, she said, is something everyone should experience, especially if you have options right in your backyard.
“I think camping out is a wonderful experience, listening to the crickets and owls at night. If it’s a full moon, it’s nice to be out in the fresh air. In my younger days, I spent my days hiking and camping in tents,” she said.
The Pines may be small, Fiola said, but they aren’t lacking in experience.
“We’re a small campground but we’re cute. You get back into a peace of mind. I tell people if they come in here all stressed out, go out and sit on the rocks in the stream and all your problems will go downstream,” Fiola said.
He said camping lets people disconnect from their technology-driven lives.
“There are no TVs here, you don’t need your cell phone, you shut it all off and get back into nature. Life just comes back to you,” he said. “It’s right around $200 to go camping for the whole week. Where else can you go for only $200 a week?”
He added, “People say you have to buy your food but here you cook over the fire, which is cheaper than going out to a restaurant every night. The beauty about camping is if you have a problem, someone around you knows how to fix it and they’re usually camping right next to you.”
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