Camping has always been one of my favourite ways to spend my vacation. As a boy growing up in Germany, I went camping regularly throughout Europe, principally because it was the only affordable way to visit and stay at the place of interest. Over those years, I’ve come to appreciate camping for more than dealing with budget pressures.
Now I forget who said that “Camping is the art of getting closer to nature while getting farther away from the nearest cold beverage, hot shower and flush toilet.” But I do remember it was American Dave Barry who quipped “Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business.”
Either way, for me camping is a great way to connect. It is a great way to connect to other people who pitch their tents near-by and it is a remarkable way to connect with your environment.
So this summer my family and I went camping in Ontario's Greenbelt, specifically the northern portion of the Niagara Escarpment. The northern Bruce Peninsula has always been "God's Country" to me. Whenever I bring family and friends from Germany to areas such as the Bruce, they are astounded by its sheer beauty and baffled by the fact that very few people are actually there. Now Germany being a much more populous country, every beautiful spot is over run by eager outdoors people, and there are many of us.
So, going camping with my three kids and wife was very special to me. The beauty of the landscape, roasting marshmallows and the opportunity to be outdoors are some things to be treasured. And when I think about that gorgeous place, the Grotto in the Bruce Peninsula National Park, I wonder what would have happened if that area wasn't protected from development.
What would've happened to the coast line, the cedars, and the Escarpment? So whether my kids jump in the frigid Georgian Bay water, participate in nature hikes, or lose their marshmallows to happy raccoons (they foolishly left the bag out), I’m once again so very proud of the fact that we have Ontario's Greenbelt.
- - Burkhard Mausberg