A FAMILY CAMPING STORY
“Mom! Grandma said we’re going camping at Santee Lakes in July!”
I smiled knowingly at my seven year old son. This would be his fourth summer camping at the lakes, and he could hardly contain his excitement of returning for another camping trip. “Thanks Mom,” I thought to myself. It was only May and I had hoped to keep this under wraps from my kids until at least a few weeks out.
In reality, the thanks really does go to my Mom. She is the one who came up with the idea of getting all of us together for a family camping trip. With my three other siblings and their families, grandparents, and great grandparents this would be no easy feat. Santee Lakes location made all the difference. It was a great staycation destination. I don’t think any of us bargained for a new family tradition. But that’s what we got.
There were 10 cousins that first summer ranging in age from 13 years old down to 2 years old. They always had a fun time when we would gather for family celebrations. But this was the first time they had all spent more than 24 hours with each other. They LOVED it! The parents LOVED it! They could ride bikes together, go fishing, run and explore. They loved swimming and we spent a lot of time at the pool.
The kids were so busy playing that dinners were late and relaxed. Then children were bathed, or not (hey, we’re camping!). A campfire was started and little ones climbed into their mom’s or dad’s laps and snuggled in while older children told stories and jokes. As the kids got older, we’ve found ourselves serenaded by a guitar, violin, vocals, and even a saxophone!
Some of my greatest memories were watching my nieces, nephews, and my children interact with my grandfather, their great grandfather. He would engage them in card games such as UNO and Golf. He would joke with them, teach them, and have meaningful conversations with them. The family ties and the bonds that were created were invaluable.
2020 marks the ninth year of our tradition. Children are growing up. There were seven cousins around the campfire this summer. Some things I am certain of; They will always have the memories of their family camping trips. And every time we gather for a family celebration you will hear, “Grandma. When are we going back to Santee Lakes Campground?”
by: Julie Camacho – Mom, Camper, Santee Lakes lover
Reservations are open for January 2021
You can book your spot online!
Cabin Reservation Reminder!
Have you wanted to book a Cabin, but found it was very challenging to reserve these popular amenities?
Check our Facebook page where we regularly post availability!
Aug. 13 & 17
Bring your lanterns and join us for a night of fishing! $4 parking and fishing fees apply. No annual passes accepted.
Social distancing and facial covering rules will apply, until further notice.
Catfish Season is in full swing!
Here is the stocking schedule, in case you wanted to know!
Dates are subject to change. All stocks are 1,000 lbs. split into two lakes, unless otherwise noted.
Stocking will be the weeks of:
Aug. 10, 17, 24
Sept. 7, 14