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Retiring to a State Campground

Spiritual Stew

Retiring to a State Campground

Camper at Thompson's Lake
Camper at Thompson's Lake

Well, first of all, this is impossible. Most NYS campgrounds limit the time you can spend there and make sure you can't just move from one spot to the next. Of course people find ways of doing it. But IF the campgrounds were open all year long and IF they let you camp forever, it might just be the best thing ever.

It would get retirees out in nature. There are lots of studies that suggest this is a good thing. We could enjoy the stifling heat and the chattering cold that nature blesses us with all year long. And the quiet setting is quite relaxing - in those hours that gasoline generators are banned and the schedule is respected. But without clocks, who is to know?

It would be cheap. Camping at Thompson's Lake State Park costs $15 a night. That's about $450 a month. Of course for this you get almost nothing except a patch of grass and access to the beach and the bathroom, but still. Even if your payments on some behemoth RV are $1000 a month, it's still cheaper than your friendly local retirement village or staying in your taxing home in Niskayuna. Or just buy a tent and really save!

It would be community because at a campground not only are you out in nature, but you are smack dab in the middle of community. Whether you like it or not. The last time I was at Thompson's Lake, there was a family with children on both sides of my campsite and small children are not the best in keeping iffy geographic boundaries. While setting up my cute trailer, I was assisted and directed in concerned shouts by a 2 year old from next door. He decided that all accessible moving parts needed checking, including safety tow chains and handles of all types. So cute! This kid could be counted on to check on me if I had a health problem. Unfortunately, he would be unable to communicate his findings to anyone who might be helpful.

Life in community would be the constant stimulation of the dubious parenting skills of the families around you who are regularly and loudly threatening bodily harm to their kiddies. Fond reminders of earlier days. Sigh. Good times. And what could be more endearing than the constant, intrusive, and jarring laughter and shouting of children on bikes dashing about your space? Sign me up!

Also imagine the gentle wafting of nostalgia producing aromas from all around. The happy campfire smells from the folks next door. Wait. No. It's from their cigars. O well. They remind me of Uncle Dan, rest his soul.

It would be good exercise!  Hiking to the restrooms in the middle of the night, fetching water from the muddy spigots, and hauling your rig to empty the awful tanks of unthinkable stuff! I can just feel my muscles twitching.

Where else can you find such economy, community, and natural beauty? Come to think of it, my back yard. Nevermind.