I keep looking out my window, longing for warmer temperatures and some green grass. Since the snow banks outside my office are up to my window, I know that the green grass is not in the foreseeable future, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
What do I love about summer? That’s easy. Warm weather, sunshine, sandals, the beach, and this summer, after more than 30 years, I will add “camping” to my list. When I was younger, my family camped at various Maine state parks during the summer. We went to Lily Bay, Rangeley, and other locations, pitched our tent, and spent hours swimming, fishing, making s’mores, and more. They are some of my fondest childhood memories.
One of my family’s fondest memories of my childhood is a story that they have told many times whenever the word “camping” comes up. They tell of one particular camping trip when I was about five years old. There had been a thunderstorm that had broken some branches on a large tree near our site. The park ranger came to speak to my parents and said that we needed to take our tent down so that they could get into our site and remove the tree as a safety precaution. We would then be able to put the tent back up and go on enjoying our vacation. So, my parents and older sister began removing everything from the tent, took me out of the tent sound asleep on my cot, and took the tent down. Then, the tree was cut down with a chainsaw, the tent was put back up, and I was put back into the tent, still sound asleep, never realizing what had happened. I sure wish I could sleep that soundly as an adult!
As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp so spent my whole summer living in a cabin on a lake, but working at a camp was not “camping” like I did as a child. Camping involved a tent, a sleeping bag, a food cooler, campfire, and eating at a picnic table.
Last week, the State of Maine opened the campground reservation website for the season, so I immediately signed on to reserve my spot at Lily Bay Campground. (To reserve your spot visit http://maine.gov/dacf/parks/camping/reservations/index.shtml.) Last spring, my husband and I received wedding gifts of a tent, a Coleman stove, and a lantern. We’re excited to try them out. He told me before we got married that Lily Bay was his favorite place to camp, so he was thrilled when I told him I reserved our spot for a warm (hopefully sunny) July weekend.
A great resource to find locations to camp, fish, swim, boat, and hike is NRCM’s new Explore Maine map on our website. We have included information about more than 100 Land for Maine’s Future locations that are available for you to use throughout the year. If you can’t wait until summer to enjoy Maine’s conserved lands, view the map to learn about places to snowshoe and cross-country ski. We hope you will bookmark this map and visit often as you look for new Maine locales to enjoy.
I hope you have time to enjoy Maine’s beautiful outdoors this summer – and if you do, don’t forget your camera so you can share your photos of scenic vistas, Maine wildlife, and you and your loved ones enjoying all that Maine’s environment has to offer. Send your pics to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can share them with others.
Reserve your spot at a Maine state campground at http://maine.gov/dacf/parks/camping/reservations/index.shtml.