Emily Buckley, editor in chief

The idea of camping always sounds fun, especially for my five children spanning ages 1 through 9, but a few summers back I said, “No more!” Camping is hard for mom and dad — the packing (tents, sleeping bags, warm clothes, summer clothes, food, flash lights, and on and on) and the cold, restless nights sleep on rocky ground that only leads to grumpy kids the next day was just too much for this inexperienced camper to recoup in the cost/benefit analysis. But GLAMPING, it is just what it sounds to be: Glamorous Camping. It is the best of both worlds: You sleep in a TENT on a comfortable BED. You play in the DIRT then SHOWER before bed. You sit around a CAMPFIRE lit by a HOST to roast marshmallows under the stars. It is where childhood and mommy dreams collide.

I had heard about glamping for a few years, but hadn’t had the opportunity to try it until this summer when we visited Conestoga Ranch. This beautiful resort overlooking Bear Lake is definitely all it is cracked up to be. The resort’s season is from May through October. Accommodations range from grand or deluxe tents to a Conestoga wagon. The wagon guest rooms are based on authentic 19th-century wagon designs and can sleep up to six people in bunk beds inside one wagon. The grand glamping tents are ideal for families looking for luxury while “roughing” it and can sleep up to eight in beds. The fully furnished tents have electricity, a mini-fridge, heater, fully plumbed bathrooms and a private campfire area. The deluxe tents are smaller and more rustic but comfortable beds are included, and there is a fully plumbed spa-style bathhouse within steps (with private, clean toilet rooms and shower rooms). There is free Wi-Fi throughout the 18-acre resort, and the onsite restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The resort has a playground, volleyball net, hammocks, ping pong tables, an activity tent, free bicycles for checkout and so much more to keep families of all ages entertained while visiting. We kept thinking it would be an idea location for a family reunion.

So, not only do I recommend glamping at Conestoga Ranch for you and your family, but I’ve already invited my entire extended family to join us next summer.