My family and I got invited to stay at the KOA campgrounds in Petaluma a couple of weeks ago and the second I found out about the opportunity I was so excited. Petaluma is about an hour away from San Francisco where we live and KOA campgrounds are the world’s largest privately owned system of open-to-the-public campgrounds. This was my family’s first visit to any KOA campground and it was freakin’ awesome.
We love to camp as a family, but our camping gear is minimal. We usually tag along with family or friends who let us bunk with them in their RV or stay in a cabin. This wasn’t just our first visit to a KOA campground, it was also our first time camping by ourselves and not relying on others to bring the necessary gear.
You would think there would have been a frenzy of planning and stocking up on necessities for our trip, but it wasn’t like that at all because we got to stay in a deluxe cabin which has a full bathroom, a kitchen, a TV and Wi-Fi access. The place was posh by old-school roughin’ it camping standards and really qualifies more as glamping. I mean even linens are provided.
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For those of you rolling your eyes because you don’t think camping is camping unless you are roughing it while smackin’ away mosquitoes and doing your best to keep from sleeping with creepy crawlies, rest assured that the KOA campgrounds also offer options for tent or RV camping. It’s pretty much a pick your own camping adventure kind of place.
Me? I am ALL about the glamping and have no shame about it.
As the daughter of a single Latina mom, I did not grow up camping. Are you kidding me? Back then camping meant all kinds of hard work and my already hard-workin’ single mamá wasn’t about to spend her weekends doing more work. The funny things is that while I was at the Koa campgrounds in Petaluma, I sent my mother pictures and videos and she made me promise that the next time she comes for a visit we’ll all go together. She didn’t have to twist my arm very hard to agree.
Camping for us is a great way to feel like we are “getting away” without really having to go very far. It’s relaxing and reinvigorating. We live in a city with lots of great parks, but when we go camping our kids can run around and explore nature in ways they don’t get to at home.
Aside from the perks of being able to choose how you like to camp (i.e. tent, RV or cabin), I love that KOA campgrounds have scheduled activities for the kids. There was a pool, a jumping pillow (yup, it’s an actual thing), rock climbing, a petting zoo, face-painting and so on and so forth. It felt like we were at a family camp.
Now, let’s talk a little about the demographics of campers, shall we? My gorgeous people of color, if you think that camping is only for white folks, think again! The faces on campgrounds look like all of us now. According to the 2016 North American Camping Report, in the last year more than 1 million North American households started camping. Of the new campers, 18 percent are African-American and 11 percent are Latino. “The research findings suggest that not only is there an increase in African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American representation overall, but among new campers for 2015, representation closely matches overall population (i.e., census) figures, indicating that this new generation of campers is truly multicultural.”
Background info is interesting, but the only thing that REALLY matters to me is whether or not my family and I had a good time and WE DID! We had a great time.
There are over 485 KOA campground locations throughout the United States and Canada. We look forward to checking out some more in the near future.
I showed you mine, now show me yours.
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