I got a phone call this week from someone who had made reservations for one of our safari style tents. She wondered what to expect. That’s a fair question and one I’ve been meaning to address for some time.
“Glamping” is a word universally used for glamorous camping. An online search reveals the term has been used since 2005 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/loisaltermark/2018/08/28/american-glamping-association-launches-to-set-industry-standards-and-manage-customer-expectations/?sh=33c2c475632a), although the idea has been around for centuries. Still, relatively few people have ever heard of it and even fewer have experienced it. While the glamping accommodations at different properties can vary, almost all have made an effort to eliminate the “roughing it” elements of traditional camping.
Maybe you camped with your family, friends or scout troop when you were growing up. If so, like me, you have vivid memories of being curled up in an invariably damp sleeping bag, inside a lightweight tent. Maybe there was a tree root or stone poking you in the back. In my case, the family dog paced back and forth, with his nails making a clicking/scratching sound on the thin floor of the tent. He stopped to breathe in my face every few minutes, his eyes telling me he wondered where in the world we had taken him.
While there’s nothing at all wrong with that kind of adventure, not everyone is willing to sign up for it. Taking into account the amount of money necessary to buy the basic gear for camping, it makes sense that people might prefer to try out glamping to see if a traditional camping trip is in their future.
We have the privilege of hosting many first time glampers. We try to make everything easy for them. Our Retreat Experience consists of two safari style tents and one bell tent. The safari tents have shiplap floors and all of the tents have nice indoor/outdoor rugs. The beds have memory foam mattresses and hotel style bedding. Each tent is equipped with electricity, heat and air conditioning, fans, a refrigerator, an electric kettle and a French press. A table, chairs, fire pit and games complete the glamp site. There are even a variety of meal and snack options available.
Outside the flaps of their tent, nature awaits with a catch and release pond, lawn games and free range donkeys. Samson, our Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog, is their eager companion as they discover all the property has to offer. Guests may reserve a grill, fishing tackle and a private farm tour. The nearby bathhouse has a sink, flush toilet and coming soon an indoor shower.
Life is all about expectations. I’m learning how important it is to communicate well with our overnight guests so there are no surprises. Our goal is to make it easy for couples, friends and families to just pack up their clothes and come to our farm. Each week they come and each week we’re encouraged by the smiles on their faces and their promises to return again soon.
This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the February 19, 2022 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.