Have your kids already been complaining about nothing to do - even though school's been out less than a month?
Well, how about a little camping trip.
Emmet County is blessed with some great campgrounds at very affordable prices - Fort Defiance State Park, Wolden Campground, Ingham Lake Campground and Iowa Lake Campground - all campgrounds that rival what you'll see throughout the country.
One of the great things about camping is that it's cheap. Tents and sleeping bags are just a few dollars and, if you want, you can just pitch a tarp and study the stars as you go to sleep.
Camping is a great way to get closer to nature, too. Right here in Emmet County you'll see all kinds of wildlife, especially at dawn and dusk when the critters stars are making their nocturnal rounds.
If you do decide to go camping, here's a few tips:
n Listen to the weather report and prepare accordingly. If it's going to rain, make sure you put a rain fly or tarp over your tent. Otherwise, you might have a somewhat uncomfortable night.
n Put away your food. Animals, such as raccoons, can be very curious. If you leave food out, they'll take it as an open invitation to a free lunch.
n Know your plants, especially the noxious ones. Be able to recognize plants such as poison ivy and poison oak, and if anyone should come in contact with these plants, wash the infected area immediately with soap and water and then administer calamine lotion.
n Bring insect repellent. You'll need it.
n Bring a good flashlight, something very important when you need to answer that nature call in the middle of the night.
n Bring sun screen, especially if you're going to be anywhere near the water.
Camping can be a very safe and enjoyable summertime activity. And taking just a few precautions can make it an enjoyable memory for years to come.