Koreans love to go camping. I didn’t understand why until I asked some of our friends from Korea. For Korean who live in the city (Seoul, Busan, etc), they are constantly surrounded by concrete buildings, tall skyscrapers, busy people walking in tight spaces. But when you go camping, you get to be one with nature and feel a sense of peace and tranquility in some fresher air. And space.
Yes, I know. I am Korean too. But I am Korean-American. In Texas, I grew up in all that small town fresh air, so I can’t say that I am a fan of camping. And in Michigan, our yard backs into a marshy wetland.
Well, fast forward decades later, I married a man who grew up on camping adventures with his family. That has somehow passed down to our two boys, who have begging us to go to camping. Our first camping trip to Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio was well…not good. In fact, I lasted only one night due to the heat and pouring rain. That was the end of our first camping trip in 2014.
Fast forward to our second camping trip in 2016.
Some girlfriends wanted to go camping as a last hurrah before we all departed for the summer. It was supposed to be an overnight camping trip at Ludington State Park in Michigan.
What’s so great about Ludington State Park?
Ludington State Park is situated on a 5,300 acre site of dunes, marshlands, ponds, and forests, making it a popular camping destination in West Michigan. The Big Sable Point Lighthouse is located here, and one can make a short 5 minute drive from the Beechwood campgrounds (where we stayed) to check it out.
But with six families and one night, it turned out to be a major planning event. We opted to make the most of our time eating and hanging out at the campgrounds.
For our one dinner together, we planned a Korean feast! And that took some coordination. We are talking delicious Korean BBQ! and all the best vegetable sides!
Dinner was fantastic. Our bellies were full.
Need Ideas to Have Kids Play While Camping?
When you have about 15+ kids coming over for a camping adventure, you will want to think of clever camping games. My mama friends brought activities to explore and enjoy the rest of our time doing these things:
A Game of Piñata
One of the kids here had a birthday coming up, so our fun-filled mama brought a piñata to let in some fun and give candy in a festive way!
A Game of Bowling
The night sky quickly filled the air as the sun went down. One mama read about this cool camping game activity – glow-in-the-dark bowling! Clever idea!
A Fire and Smore’s
The kids enjoyed melting marshmallows by the fire. They truly wasted no time in melting and eating.
Fishing with Dads
Michigan had a free fishing weekend (June 11-12, 2016), which was awesome! But of course, if your kids are the only one fishing, then it’s free for kids under 17 in Michigan. just don’t forget to get at least on adult fishing license to help your kids catch some fish!
Long Walks and Hiking
Three campgrounds (Beechwood, Cedar, and Pines) was located next to Lost Lake. A girlfriend wanted to go for a hike around the Lake, which was a 2-mile hike in the woods.
We saw beautiful scenic areas, and this very steep beach area. The kids ran all the way down to skip stones and play for a bit.
One parent brought a pack of sparklers. However, not knowing how may were in a pack, we only had enough for five people. So the older children held them out for the little ones to feast their eyes of the light and sparkle.
That ended our evening at Ludington State Park.
The Next Morning
And of course, more eating the next day! We were about to enjoy our breakfast together, but then it rained pretty hard for the next hour or so. We broke camp and called our camping trip a day.
Oh and Koreans enjoy eating sweet potato. I don’t know why. It must be inherit in our genes.
It wasn’t humid, but a chillier 60 degrees. Thankfully, the mosquitos were kept away (due to colder weather) in June. And in spite of the rain, we enjoyed our second camping trip, thanks to cooler weather and great friends making this trip one to remember.
What are some of your favorite things to do while camping? Share below, and we’d like to try them next time we go camping. If you’ve got questions about how to prepare a Korean meal while camping, ask in the comments below!
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