“Rec Perspectives” with Tia Wayling, the recreation services coordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay
My husband and I were recently discussing what we wanted to do this spring and summer. What kinds of activities or excursions do we want to plan for our family? Our boys will be turning three this June and we are very excited about how much more engaged and energetic they will be to explore the Kootenays.
But, this isn’t the year to make last-minute plans. B.C. Parks opens up campsite reservations for B.C. residents starting March 1, but small cabins are already starting to get booked up very quickly. Because of travel restrictions, there were many families camping locally last year. It looks as though 2021 is shaping up to be even busier. It might be worth planning your spring and summer plans early in order to enjoy your time off at your number one choice location.
As a parent of twins, you quickly learn to be militant with your daily routine to maintain your sanity. So, needless to say, sleeping and eating schedules were thrown right out of the window on our two camping trips last year. But once you are willing to put cleanliness and sleep aside alongside repetitively using the phrases, “stay close to mom”, “don’t touch that” and “get that out of your mouth”, you’re all set.
Camping with toddlers did not come without its challenges though. Without the help from grandma and grandpa, we probably would have packed up after the first night. Having extra sets of eyes and hands on your first trip is key. But, we were adamant about creating that “perfect” experience, so we made it the whole two nights.
It wasn’t all bad though. The time they had to be a little more independent while exploring new surroundings — playing in the water, collecting firewood, and roasting marshmallows were priceless. Those trips had a great impact on their development as well. In fact, they still talk about camping and use it as the main location in their little stories, with the Paw Patrol swooping in to save the day, obviously.
For all the parents that have taken their children camping over the years, you all deserve a big kudos. So many great memories and experiences rest on the backs of tired parents wanting their kids to be exposed to different experiences.
Whether you have children or not, any type of local travelling you will be doing to “get away” will have to be planned ahead of time to ensure you get your spot. The popular sites and accommodations will go quickly, so don’t miss out. Or, you could just stay close to home and do day trips to various wonders our region has to offer. I also hear the skatepark will be offering free lessons for all ages this summer.
Whether you decide to spend a few nights at a provincial campground, somewhere in the bush, or even your own backyard, keep an open mind and let your guard and your standards down a bit. The kids will flourish with a bit of independence and new experiences.