All the talk this week about the Northeast Outdoor Sports Show along with my trip to Camping World in Kingston last Friday has me thinking about my very first camping trip. Let me take you back to 1972. My family was living in Kansas and my mother let me join the girl scouts. Now I am sure there may have been some sort of unofficial camping before this actual memory but the Girl Scout camp out in Kansas was the one I remember most. Probably because I actually got to use all kinds of cool camping equipment.

It isn't like we went far to get to the camp site. We didn't even have to hike to the camping spot. As a matter of fact my Mom dropped me and my gear off at the curb. Yes, I said curb. My first official camping trip was about five minutes from my house in Fort Leavenworth Kansas. As a matter of fact it was down the hill from where I took horse back riding lessons. Not exactly the great outdoors.

We might not have been to far off the beaten path but for my first night sleeping in a tent that wasn't in my back yard it was far enough. We had fire pits, a log cabin, lots of pine trees and when the sun went down it was very dark. But who cared, we had our flashlights and our trusty girl scout pocket knives. We got to use our girl scout mess kits, cooked over a camp fire and even though no one really fell asleep it still counted as the first night I slept under the stars.

So why am I sharing this story? Because I want to encourage you to go camping. It is an amazing world out there, your kids want to see it. Making memories like your first camping trip is what childhood is all about.

Stop out this weekend to the Northeast Outdoor Sport Shows with your family and visit the tons of vendors that can help you plan your next night around a camp fire.