It is not too late to enjoy a weekend outdoors with the family. Many campgrounds throughout New England are still open and offering activities you can enjoy. It is an affordable alternative to staying in a hotel and provides some opportunities for socialization for both you and your children.

This past weekend we stayed at Camp Odentah in Bozrah, Connecticut along Fitchville Lake. We met up with some extended family who had invested in a camper that slept seven comfortably, but we had five ourselves and they had four more plus visitors. We brought along our tent which supposedly sleeps as many as ten although I would never attempt to try sleeping ten in it. I always figure that a tent can only comfortably hold half or less the occupancy it is advertised to hold.

My father had his camper set up to hold my children, nieces, and step sister and the rest of the adults stayed in the tent. We were comfortably settled around the fire around 7 pm, Friday night with the children practicing roasting a marsh mellow without setting it on fire. Actually, I think they preferred setting them on fire as supposed to roasting them brown for s’mores.

We took our time getting up in the morning. Sam, my oldest, who normally wakes up everyday at 5 am, still got up at 5 am and spent a couple hours reading. The rest of us got up between 7 am and 8 am and ate a hearty breakfast.

The campground offered plenty of activities for the children and adults to enjoy. Following breakfast, we went down to the common area where pumpkins and pumpkin carving tools had been left for the campers to carve or paint a pumpkin as they like. My son, Max went for a scary jack o lantern look for his entry into the pumpkin carving contest.

Next the camp staff organized potato sack races by age group. Sam came in first and Annelise who is four and had never done one laughed the whole time. I took Sam and Max out in a canoe and they got to learn the dynamics of paddling on either side to steer in one direction or another. The temperature was just right, there was no breeze, and we took our time getting around the lake and even paddled underneath the interstate bridge where a crew was doing some weekend welding work. They got a kick out of watching the workmen suspended under the bridge and the sparks and lights from the welding. We stopped in a couple places around the lake to try fishing before we headed back.

The children enjoyed a quick hayride before we headed back to the campsite for a break and some lunch. Our children and others from nearby sites spent a couple hours playing tag, hide and seek, and other games involving running around helping wear themselves out a bit. Then it was time to get ready for the main evening activity.

By 3:30 pm the children had gotten into their Halloween costumes and were ready to go trick or treating around the campsite. First, there was a costume parade down to the stage area where the camp staff held a costume contest for various categories. Sam got an honorable mention for scariest costume – Ichabod Crane’s headless horseman.

For the next two hours the children rounded up plenty of candy and goodies from the generous campers throughout the campground. We retired back to the site for another camp fire and some much needed and healthy dinner after consuming too many Reese peanut butter cups.

The next morning Sam actually slept until 7 am and we all got some rest. We were so busy we did not get to check out the hiking and other activities and games the campground had to offer. We left to make our way home around 12:00 pm on Sunday. We had great weather, just right temperatures over-night, fun and memories with family. A weekend well spent. Call a campground and make a reservation.