Why I Love Camping

camp moody

Why I Love Camping  By Steve Peterson

I have always loved camping.The Peterson family fished, hunted, and camped as we had for generations. Since I could walk, my Dad made sure “us boys” got out of the city to see what he called, “God’s Creation.” I don’t remember a time we weren’t preparing for a camping trip. 

Our family evolved from backpacking, to tent camping, to trailers, to fifth wheels and then motorhomesCamping was a family tradition and we traveled around the US making memories.

By the time I went to college, I knew I wanted to be a Wild Life Biologist/Forest Ranger. I pursued and graduated with a degree in biology - the perfect thing to keep me connected to the outdoors! I made like-minded friends in college who also loved to camp and be outdoors. They were all fisherman, hunters, farmers, ranchers, cowboys and wildlife biologists. We camped all of the time.

For work, I made sure to find a resident camp to work at during the summer when I wasn’t too busy with classes. YMCA Camp Cullen, in Houston, was the perfect place for me and I’m so glad I found it!

I spent 3 of my 4 college summers working at camp and even met my future wife.

We worked together at Camp Cullen. I was the Unit Leader and Wrangler and she was an Adventure Counselor that took teenagers to Colorado. Robin liked to mountain climb, white water canoe, fish, backpacking, and camp – my kind of girl! We have now been together for 39 years and we owe it to camp and our love for the outdoors.

When we had children we knew that we wanted them to grow up outdoors as much as possible. Through the years, our kids learned to fish, hunt, and camp just like Mom and Dad. Both of our children regularly attended camp at YMCA Camp Pine Tree, Camp Cullen, and Camp Hamman Ranch.

Why was Camping so important to us?

For Robin and me, camping helps us to slow down and remember what is important to us. Like many people, we are incredibly busy but learning to disconnect from the city and our busy lives is crucial for our happiness. Camping allows us to leave the city traffic, forget about the deadlines, and leave the meetings behind at the office. Over the years, we have learned to disconnect and unplug! Connecting to nature is so wonderful as we love all things natural that the earth has to offer.  

There is no better than feeling the wind blowing on our faces, feeling the warmth of the sun, or hearing sound of the storms. There is so much beauty in a blue sky, wild animals, and plants. There is nothing that relieves stress better the smell of honey suckles, wildflowers, and streams. The stress melts away from our muscles and the tension dissipates from our bodies.   

Camping also helps to revitalize our relationship. We are given the chance to talk and become present with each other more.   

All of this is to say that life is sweeter and simpler for us when we are camping and Robin and I could not wait to help with YMCA Camp Moody! We believe in the benefits of camp for children and families. It is important to us to be long-term donors to Camp Moody’s Capital Campaign to ensure the happiness for generations to come. We can’t wait for Camp Moody to open! 


Steve Peterson
Executive Director at the Northwest Family YMCA
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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