I’m sitting at a picnic table, surrounded by sunshine and the sounds of nature, here at Muskoka Bible Center (MBC). MBC is a conference grounds in the heart of Muskoka, Ontario, and the beauty of God’s Creation is all around!
MBC has a number of wonderful accommodations, rooms, and cottages, but for those of us who love to be immersed in nature, camping in the tenting sites is the way to go.
Many families have made a tradition of visiting MBC through the generations and have permanent cottages or trailers here. We haven’t taken that plunge yet, but we do come almost every year to spend at least a few nights in our tents, taking in the beach and the Chapel sessions.
I’ve been visiting MBC since I was little, and we’ve been tenting here ever since our kids were little too. And we’ve discovered that there are a few things you really should bring when you come to stay here.
Top 10 Things To Bring To Muskoka Bible Center
1. Bible: One of the priorities at MBC is presenting strong, Biblical teaching twice each day, in the morning and in the evening. You’ll want to make sure you have your Bible with you to follow along!
2. Notepaper & pen (or app): MBC always manages to find the most insightful and well-spoken preachers from all over Canada and the United States. You may even have heard James MacDonald reminisce about his times spent here. Taking notes is essential – you’ll want to make sure you capture all of those insights so you won’t forget them when you head home.
3. Sunscreen & Bug Spray: Muskoka is world-renowned for it’s beautiful sunny days … and it’s monstrous mosquitoes. Make sure you’re prepared for both! I must say though, we’ve hit a great year when it comes to bugs – they’ve been barely noticeable this time!
4. Bathing Suit: MBC sits on Mary Lake, a gorgeous lake surrounded by pine trees and Canadian Shield. If you don’t feel the temptation to jump into it’s sparkling waters, you’ll at least want to sit on the beach and work on your tan. Or go for a canoe ride. Or bring your boat and do some tubing, like we did! (Thank you, Atkinsons, for taking us out on your boat!)
5. Walking Shoes: You’ll eat well at MBC, especially if you’re in accommodations and eat at the Dining Hall. But even if you’re just enjoying S’Mores and hot dogs around the campfire like us, rest assured that you will work it off. MBC is strategically located on a hill, with the beach at the bottom and the tent and trailer sites at the top. The Chapel, Children’s Ministries, and everything else is in between. You will be walking up and down hills all week (unless you rent a golf cart from the Nibble Nook!). Bring sturdy shoes, along with a back up pair just in case. Most paths are gravel and can be uneven, so make sure your footwear is up to the challenge!
6. A Hand Broom: MBC’s tent sites are on sand, and while it’s perfect for cushioning under the tent, it also tends to get into the tent. I actually forgot ours this time around, so our tent is a bit dusty. Bring one from home, and you’ll be ready for the sand.
7. Cash (for ice cream and cinnamon buns): If you’re camping at MBC, you’ll already be familiar with the Nibble Nook, the campground store. But even if you’re staying in accommodations, stop in for some freshly made cinnamon buns or ice cream. Don’t forget, with all that walking, you’ll burn off the extra calories in no time! You’ll also find more goodies at The Hub, adjacent to the Chapel. They’re got lots of great meal options for lunch or dinner too!
8. Rain coat: The weather this week has been amazing, with lots of sunshine and very few clouds. But it wouldn’t be Muskoka without a rainstorm at least once a week, so be prepared. Bring rain coats or umbrellas, and if you’re camping — tarps to cover your tent.
9. Extra outfits: If you’re camping with children and they don’t get dirty, you’re doing it wrong. Plan on two outfits per day, and you’ll be well-prepared. The MBC trailer park has laundry facilities, and there are even a few more machines closer to the tenting sites. Don’t forget your laundry detergent and change for the machines!
10. A Tablecloth: Each campsite has at least one picnic table on it (ours has two this year!), and you’ll want a tablecloth on it to make clean up easier and keep things tidy. Here’s my tip: buy a vinyl flannel-backed one from the dollar store. It’s sturdy enough to last a week or more, but you can roll it up and toss it in the garbage when you leave (or take it home and use it for a drop cloth).
What about you? Do you have a favourite campground that you visit year after year?
What essentials do you bring with you?
*I received compensation for this post, but as always, my opinions are totally my own!*