Athena’s First Camping Experience

oTENTik in Fundy National ParkOne of the items on this year’s bucket list was to take Athena camping. I’m embarrassed to say that she’s never been before, especially since I loved camping as a child and it’s one of my earliest memories. We wanted her first overnight camping experience to be in eastern Canada so it would be similar to what I remembered as a child. We packed our bags and made our way to Fundy National Park in New Brunswick to experience camping like never before for all of us.

Inside the oTENTik in Fundy National ParkWith minimal camping gear with us on our extended vacation in New Brunswick, we didn’t know how we were going to make overnight camping work. When I found Fundy National Parks’s oTENTik experience, I knew it was the perfect fit. The Parks Canada oTENTik is a spacious blend of tent and rustic cabin equipped with beds and furniture on a raised floor. It’s not exactly roughing it but it’s a great introduction to camping and tenting. Darren and I never camped in an oTENTik before either so it was a new experience for all of us.
Camping in Fundy National Park

Outside the oTENTik, there is a parking space, a picnic table, two deck chairs and a charcoal BBQ. Inside, there is a table, 4 chairs, a bench, a sleeping area, a solar-powered light and a propane heater. All we needed was bedding, food and drinks, cooking gear, propane and a lighter.
Eating s'mores at Fundy National ParkAthena was bursting with excitement when we arrived. She climbed up and down the bunk bed steps dozens of times and anxiously awaited s’mores. Since the BBQ was propane, we used waffle cones and stuffed them with marshmallows and chocolate. Wrapped in tinfoil, they roasted beautifully on the grill and tasted delicious.

As we sat in the chairs and ate our s’mores and hotdogs, we watched a pair of squirrels run and play around us. Even though we were only 1 km from the town of Alma, we felt like we were having deep woods camping experience.

At night when it was time for sleep, Athena used her flashlight as a nightlight and we made shadow animals on the side of the tent.

It was everything I imagined our first camping experience to be with woodland creatures and delicious food around a fire followedΒ by snuggling up in the tent while telling stories and drifting off to sleep.

54 thoughts on “Athena’s First Camping Experience

  1. I always thought camping in a cabin was somehow cheating, but at age 70 I think this would change my mind! I still love to camp in a tent and do it frequently at Waianapanapa in Hana Maui but with young child this is definitely a fun alternative.


    • We’re excited to take her tent camping as well but this was a great start. She really had a lot of fun and didn’t mind any part of it. I think for the first tenting experience we’ll make sure that there is at least a bathroom near by. She’s potty trained but I wouldn’t chance asking her to hold it while we made our way to a far potty πŸ˜‰

      I’ll have to look into Waianapanapa in Hana Maui. We were recently talking about visiting Maui this year. Maybe I could cross off two items at once πŸ™‚


  2. Sounds like a fun time was had by all, which is the most important part. And though I love primitive camping, not every trip has to be roughing it. Sometimes it’s awesome to do something a little different!


  3. Wonderful way to go camping. I am Canadian but on the west coast. You leave me longing to visit the east coast asap. I have a ton of relations there, too. I’m sure your girl will forever remember her first camping experience, lovely!

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  4. Pingback: Athena’s First Camping Experience | tssreviewsdotcom

  5. Sounds fantastic. I love camping. I’ve camped through France and Spain and it was so interesting and if you ever come to the UK. You must try camping in the New Forest. Its so lovely and soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo english! πŸ™‚


    • Hey! I spent a lot of time tent camping in Europe including France, Italy, Ireland, and Switzerland but it was in my early twenties when I had very little concern for where I stayed. Maybe when Athena is a little older, we’ll try in Europe again πŸ™‚

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      • Having children changes the way you do things I’ve found-even camping. I know having my two-now 22 & 20 meant I had other consideration and needs that were took into account. In my bucket list is a trip down the coast of Western Australia. Wild camping as much as poss πŸ™‚


  6. I love camping, but I wouldn’t if I had to rough it. I want a hard floor and a door I can lock when I sleep, so either a cabin or a camper of some kind works for me. I’m glad Athena’s first camping trip was so great for her.

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      • Hi Lesley! My first camping experience was hilarious because I agreed to live in my boyfriend’s truck with him for a year, and we visited 30+ national parks, Canada, and Mexico! I agreed to it without ever having camped before because I loved him so much and wanted to spend that quality time. Even after living in a car we’re still together after 8 years! We figured after living in a car together there’s nothing we can’t handle!

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  7. we just took ours camping for the first time, too – and we rented an RV and met the grandparents at the campsite. Similar to you : not roughing it, but being outside a lot and enjoying summer and family and s’mores!


  8. Omigosh! What a great, great idea for s’mores!! I never would have thought of that way to make s’mores on a grill. I have a housewarming party coming up and we can’t have a bonfire because of the local wildfire hazard level, but I totally want to have these instead. πŸ™‚

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  9. What a great first time experience. The look on your daughter’s face with the cone indicate that you will be camping a lot in the future. It is so special when your plans work out they way your dream. Thanks for sharing your story.


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