Sometimes you just gotta get away. That was our plan for Easter. I (Kris) was scheduled to preach at a couple of churches Easter morning, so we planned our getaway to begin as soon as worship was over. I got home, we changed clothes, ate lunch, and headed out for a couple of nights of family camping (watching the movie Risen on the way). Or as the kids thought of it, forced family fun.
And it was fun. We stayed at the Newberry/I-26/Sumter NF KOA. It was a great little campground and was VERY family friendly. The pool wasn’t open yet, but it was ok because the gnome scavenger hunt, playground, and tween zipline was enough to keep everyone happy. Oh, and the good wifi!
We had a nice, easy, big pull through corner lot. There was a nice grassy spot for the boys to play and the dog to be walked (the dog park was on the other side of the campground). We set-up quickly and the kids made a new friend almost right away. The first night was just hot dogs and chips and smores, something easy for set-up day.
A big rainstorm came in the first night and woke several of us up. We knew it was coming in, so was able to prep the outside stuff so nothing blew away. The temperature dropped too and some of the kids realized they didn’t pack enough warmer clothes! It rained into the morning, so we had a slow morning with eggs and bacon and hot cocoa for breakfast. As the rain let up, we packed our lunch and headed to Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site.
We were the only family there that day and the docent/guide was incredibly helpful! James was full of information and eager to share what he knew about the Revolutionary War battleground and the bats that made their home in the eaves of the information center. Musgrove Mill has 2 hiking trails, one with a pretty decent waterfall! In nicer weather, some people swim in a couple of spots. We hiked the shorter trail, ate lunch in the covered picnic shelter, then drove to and hiked the longer trail.
After our educational fun, we headed back to the campground to relax. The kids played and most chose to enjoy the tween zipline. For dinner, we made what the kids call “hobos” – meat and veggie foil packs cooked over the fire. What is nice about this meal is that everyone can make their own supper just how they like it. After cleaning up, we had s’mores (again) and packed up a few things to make the morning departure a little easier.
Both nights, just before lights out, we have a family devotion time. The kids all get in their beds, Bill reads a short devotion from The Upper Room (or something similar), then he takes the dog out one last time, and we’re all in for the night. Boomer is a great travel and camping dog and is living his best life when we camp.
After just two short nights, it was time to head home and get back into our regular routines. Instant oatmeal and hot cocoa for breakfast, then final clean up and packing up. Everyone helps pack up and tear down the campsite. We had a slight tire pressure issues, but a neighbor had a air pump and all was well. The trip home was uneventful (and the kids watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
- Bill and I need a different mattress. Camping would be better if we could sleep well.
- Make sure everyone has their toiletries or keep extras in the camper. 3 people forgot toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant!
- Only set up the canopy if we are going to need it.
- Be clear about the weather forecast when packing.
- Check tire pressures before leaving.
Overall, it was a much needed couple of days away as a family. We already have our next camping adventure planned!
If you enjoy camping, tell us your favorite place to stay in the southeast! We’d love some recommendations!