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The First Balvin Family Camping Trip

I grew up camping and I love doing it.  For the past three summers I have been talking about talking the kids camping.  The trouble is that something always seemed to come up, and then, all of a sudden, the summer was gone and with it the dream of camping died.  Well this summer I decided that enough is enough, and last week I made it happen.

The first Balvin Family Camping Trip.  

Because my wife is an avid indoors-woman, and because she was working hard all week to get her school classroom ready to be inhabited by a fresh batch 6th graders, on Wednesday I decided to get the kids out of town and go camping.  After doing some research I settled on Kiesler Campground in Waseca, MN.  Even though Kiesler isn't quite as rustic a camping purist would require, I made the choice because I wanted the kids to have a fun time camping and to leave with a positive taste in their mouth about the whole experience.  I am glad to say I succeeded in achieving that goal.

Kiesler Campground is just an hour away from Northfield and gave us the perfect feeling of getting out-of-town without the drive being too long.  The campground was very clean, and since we went in the middle of the week it was quiet and easy to get a campsite.  In fact, we were the only tenters there (there were some RV units occupied at the time) and we pretty much had run of the place.  Kiesler's has a clean pool with two water slides that were perfect for the kids.  We also enjoyed a basketball court with adjustable hoops, a beautiful sand volleyball court, two nice playground areas, and a well cared for  mini golf course (mini golf was the only activity that cost extra - $4).  One other game the kids loved, and which they had never experienced before, was shuffleboard.

The camp site was very nice and included electricity.  Because of the heat this was a wonderful luxury. A friends advised of this ahead of time, and so each kid brought their very own bed fan which made sleeping a breeze!  One thing that I didn't like was having to purchase firewood at the campground.  I would have liked to have had a fire going longer for cooking and sitting next to but I had to ration my wood pile.  Also, I forgot to bring jelly and so the peanut butter sandwiches weren't the biggest hit.  Overall however all the kids had a great time and I am looking forward to the next time we camp.

Some places I've heard good things about are Shades of Sherwood and Bluff Valley Campground.  Do you camp?  I'd love to hear your highlights, lowlights, and recommendations.

Photos will be uploaded to my Facebook page in the next week.

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