School's out and summer's here. If you have children, this probably means that you're looking for ways to keep them busy and out of trouble. One relatively easy option is to get kids outdoors: take them to a park, teach them how to canoe or kayak, or show them how to pitch a tent. You'll be able to bond over the experience and they'll have fun learning something that doesn't involve homework and pop quizzes.
For parents in New York and New Jersey, my story in the July issue of New Jersey Family explains how to prepare for a camping trip with kids, and suggests seven places to go for under $65 a night. I also offer a short list of camping packing essentials and recommend several books that will take the guesswork out of planning a weekend in the woods. The Best in Tent Camping: New Jersey (part of a series published by Menasha Ridge Press) is a good bet for purists in search of scenic and serene campsites while Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids' Guide is written for the younger reader who wants to help mom and dad plan for an overnight in the backwoods or the backyard.