May 8 – 9

Watkins Glen KOA
Watkins Glen, NY

Go-carts...not for me.
Go-carts...not for me.

This was a very nice campground to visit. Although it was a rainy weekend, we had a blast. I did not get a chance to tour the entire resort because the kids had me running. The indoor pool was a much needed activity.

I’m not very good at picking campsites based on the image ma. What I thought was the best site turned out to be a wet site. The site I picked was between the Jumping Pillow and the swimming pool. Unfortunately, the site was at the bottom of a hill and a bit secluded. Not what you want to do when you want your kids to socialize with other kids.

If you’re in the area, I would recommend the Watkins Glen KOA.

May 22 – 25

Frost Ridge Campground
Batavia, NY
Memorial Day Celebration

Formerly known as Lei-Ti II. This is our second trip to this campground. It’s turning out to be our number one spot closest to home. We meet up with friends from Ontario and have a blast. The day is filled with swimming in frigid water to water-balloon fights. The nights are filled with laughter into the early morning.

This weekend, we experienced a incident that could have been fatal. While waiting for the wagon ride, the crowd behind us suddenly dispersed. Turns out that the tractor pulling the wagon tumbled down the hill (the campground is located on a land that was once a ski resort). It was pretty dark at this point, so campers saw only the lights from the tractor tumbling down the hill. The screaming was horrific. My heart was pounding. My daughter was the very next person that was to get on the wagon. We could’ve been on the wagon.

No one was hurt. A little girl complained of her ankle hurting. And lots of campers have sworn off wagon rides. Not us. As long as there are no hills, we’re good to go. I can’t let one bad incident dictate the rest of our summer. The girls look forward to the wagon rides.

June 12 – 14

Hickory Hill

This place was awesome! Friendly staff and clean facilities. We arrived on Friday evening and were welcomed by our friends. The sites were pretty small, but comfortable. The girls loved hanging out on the playground.IMG00017-20090613-1406

This campground is perfect for groups, but could be a bit lonely if you’re alone. There were no activities this weekend, so not very much opportunity to mingle with the other campers. The activities for the kids were on the weak-side too.

IMG00012-20090613-1329As always, Will did his thang on the grill.  We had a feast on Saturday night with his famous ribs.

We will visit this site again next year.

June 26 – 29

Holiday Hill Campground

Springwater, NY

On our way to this campground is rained like the dickens. Visibility was the worst I’ve ever seen. This campground is located at the top of a very steep hill. There was an alternate route for trailers and large motor homes.  Luckily, Will took time to read the brochure in it’s entirety and learned of the alternate route. If we’d tired to make that hill, we would have killed the transmission.

This place was very hilly and had tight turns. The weekenders were in the middle of the campground while the seasonal campers were tucked back in the woods. It felt like an “us” versus “them” situation. However, the owners and some of the campers were friendly. I say some because me and my eldest son noticed that the pool slowly emptied when we swam. When we left the pool, campers slowly entered the pool. Coincidence, hmmm. We were encouraged to become a permanent camper, but the was not there.

There was a DJ Saturday night and my girls danced like crazy.  The music was loud and the lights were flashing. At first, my girls did not want to dance, but Rhonda (seen with me in to the photo to the right) grabbed Hailey’s hand and took her out on the dance floor. It took 5 minutes for the girls to get loose. ‘

Will we visit again? Probably not in 2010. There are so many cool places to visit.

July 2 – 5

Yoji Bear Jellystone Park

North Java, NY

IMG00080-20090704-1458July 4th Celebration- It was a bad weekend for camping. While setting up the RV, it slipped off the leveling blocks. Talk about panic attack!! We ended up having to settle with the RV a little tilted. The ground was muddy, so the owners delivered wood panels to most of the sites.

We made our reservations late and were not able to rent a golf cart. Having a gold cart for a few years in a row and then not having one changes the camping experience. We were not able to cruise around the park and enjoy the atmosphere. Nor did we participate in the parade with Yogi and Cindy. The activities were held as scheduled and the kids enjoyedt the the water park. They froze, but the enjoyed it. There was no way I was getting in the water.

The kids had a blast at the concert. I don’t remember the name of the band, but they were cool. Lots of country…but still cool. The kids enjoyed cotton candy and danced with Boo Boo.

IMG00087-20090704-2008We met great folks and our eldest son met up with teens he had met previous years. The water park is amazing and worth trip. But with the new water park and renovated facilities came more rules. This was our first year we had to wear bracelets. I guess if you do not have a bracelet, you’ll be asked to leave the grounds. e

July 17 – 19

Yogi Bear Jellystone Park

Mexico, NY


Wow. This was a fun weekend. It was a weekend that nearly didn’t happen. Apparently I forgot to complete the reservation transaction. I remember praying for the site to be available. We were camping with three other families and they placed their campers in a circle saving space or us. Imagine if another family went to park in “our” spot. That would’ve been very awkward for everyone.

The campground had an in ground pool with slide. The kids loved that. It was a bit too cold for me to jump in the pool. But later that day, I did wade in the stream. Once my body adjusted to the water temperature, I was good. My fellow campers showed me how to float in water that was less than a foot deep. I lied on my back and started floating down the stream. Ever so often, my backside became caught a boulder and I’d have to push myself along. When I finished my floating, the backside of my bathing suit was green from algae.

The photo to the left is Chaney meditating. Seriously. My baby walked over to the edge of the rock and sat down. After a minute, I asked her if she was ready to go and she said no. She quietly sat for a good five minutes. The heavens quieted, the other campers disappeared, and the only sound was the stream. I was in awe as my baby sat quietly. I wondering what she was thinking about.

We had great food. One of my fellow campers made a drink that tasted like the red, white, and blue Popsicles I ate as a child. We had good laughter and even danced around the campfire a bit. It was a long drive from our house. Would we go again? Only if we could take one car.

August 14 – 16

Due to car problems, no trips were taken in August.


21 thoughts on “2009

  1. Hello!
    I enjoyed reading your site! I’ve have been looking for a local or national camping group to hook up with. II live in New jersey, single and have no children. I need some more fun! I have no camping experience but still want to explore it. Oh and I can’t afford to buy my own RV. Any suggestions? Please help!

    1. Hello! I also enjoyed reading the site. I have always loved camping, but it is so difficult to get friends to go because of the black folks thing. I am divorced and my children a grown but I have a campgound membership at NACO/1000 Trails. They have tent, rv, trailer, cabin , and cottage spaces. I usually rent a cabin because the other types of camping require setup and more than one person. It’s a great way to get away for a single person.

      1. Claudia, you too can get an affordable RV. It really does not take much. Set up on takes 15 – 20 mins depending on the type of unit. RV shows usually begin in the fall. Check on out.

    2. Pamela, It doesn’t take much to purchase an rv. Our first unit cost about $140 a month. You can do it. Try the NAARVA for a chapter in your area.

  2. On Aug 8th,2009, it was a boys only weekend. We took the Travel Trailer camping at a local state park. A thunderstorm swept the area and dumped tons on rain overnight. This was good for us because we went kayaking the next day. The rain increased the flow of the river.
    Our 13 yr old cousin experienced kayaking for the first time. He turned out to be a natural paddler.
    We took advantage of a very bright moon and went kayaking at night. It was wonderful. The water was smooth as glass. We watched a thunderstorm in the distance. The kids thought it was cool to be able to see the lighting so far away. I can’t wait to do it again.

  3. I wish more of our people understood the value of camping. We are so hung up ,on glamour , nightclubs,football games and the most barbaric of them all is killing one another over nothing. Yes, it can be a bit pricey starting out but in the long run our babies will grow up being better citizens. Camping has something for everyone no matter what the age. Black people are quick topoison minds ands bodies versus trying a weekend of camping. I have two beauty sister inlaws very high maintenace that I thought would never go camping but they went from tents to class A’s. How about that? Keep your web site going we need more converts.

  4. My husband and I just purchased a Coleman popup camper, we love it. But it gets a little boring with just us two and mostly being the only blacks at a campground. I was wondering here do we go to see people who look like us.

    1. Hi Kelly – Congrats on your camper. I would start with searching for groups in your area. We’ve been camping for a long time and still have not found a black family to camp with. We meet people at various campgrounds, but most often they tend to want to keep to themselves. The one national group of black camper I know of requires members to have a travel trailer, 5th wheel, or class A. Where do you live? You can reply to anaya(at)frontiernet(dot)net.

      1. Hi folks, Just to let you, you do not need a travel trailer, 5th wheel, or class A to be a member of NAARVA. We have a Pop Up and join NAARVA in May of 2006, after attending their EASTERN REGION RALLY in the Poconos. It was the best camping experiences I have enjoy in the years that I have been camping. You don’t even need to be members to go to their events but would be required to pay the non member rates. We were the only family in a Pop Up and enjoy the number of black camper we have met and fellowshipped with. We also have been to a numbers of other campgrounds recommended by members we have met at the Rallies. There is only 1 bad think I can say about NAARVA is the lack of young families with Pop Ups or small RV’s. So please join. NAARVA is for all campers.

      2. THANK YOU! Funny you should say this as me and Will were just talking about joining. It’s not like joining for life. We do plan to join. Thanks for the feedback.

  5. Don’t worry there are others out there. I am in Michigan. I have had luck at the County and State Parks. Also the KOA and Jellystone campgrounds.

  6. Spring is taking way too long to get hear. I hope that the weather around the country gets better by Easter. Any one have any 2010 trips planned yet??

  7. Hi! We didn’t make the rally this year. The Sundance (Our Travel Trailer) needs a new pair of shoes. I don’t want to risk any blowouts. I am currently researching other tire brands beyond the three most available around here. Hopefully the Sundance will be back on the road next week.

  8. Hello, This is our first year camping and we live in Michigan but can’t find a family to camp with. We are a family of four.

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