Roses in a vase

Trip Planning

Celebrating Mother’s Day at the Campground

Janine Petit, founder of Girl Camper, does Mother’s Day a bit differently. Read about her annual girls trip and learn how she and her friends celebrate Mother’s Day!

In the last decade, I have spent more Mother’s Days at campgrounds with the girl campers than at home with my family. I don’t remember when it began but one year Mother’s Day weekend was the only free weekend that the New Jersey and Pennsylvania girl campers were all free to get together, so we scrapped tradition and opted for a girl’s weekend on Mother’s Day. We had so much fun that we just kept doing it.

We keep our annual Mother’s Day campout pretty low key. Most of us live busy lives and the weekend is time to slow down and keep it simple. Since Friday is a travel day, we keep the evening meal easy by gathering at one site and sharing a favorite appetizer. It’s fun to try new things and old favorites and we often end up swapping recipes. I always bring a layered hummus dip because it’s cold and crispy and just needs to be assembled when I get there. It’s a crowd pleaser and someone always texts to make sure I am bringing it.

Mother’s Day is all about letting mom do what she wants and that’s what we do on Saturday. Often, we preplan something we all like doing. Over the years we have done great hikes with a sack lunch at an overlook, kayaking trips in which we have tied our kayaks all together in a fruitless effort to stay connected, and epic junking and antique mall extravaganza complete with a show and tell cocktail party afterwards to reveal our bargains. Whatever we do, we appreciate the time to be with friends and the relaxation that life at the campground offers.

Our Saturday night dinner is what we call BYOP – bring your own protein. Someone lights their grill, and we do a simple salad along with the previous night’s leftovers and then each person grills up their own protein. We all sit down to the dinner of our choice. For me that is always a ribeye steak! Of course, cocktails are on the menu and a girlfriend get together is a great time to test new signature recipes. We always end the night by sitting around the fire until the wee hours and burning every last piece of firewood we have.

Sunday morning is always a full-on breakfast and usually one of the girl campers is happy to cook it. We’ve made a lot of the camp breakfasts that we see posted on Pinterest and camp blogs. We’ve boiled eggs in Ziplock bags, cooked cinnamon biscuits on sticks over the open fire and done Dutch oven French toast bakes. Each year we switch it up and try something new. We’ve had wild successes and epic failures all of which became fun memories for future campfire laughs. Long lazy breakfasts with bad food choices, mimosas, and a table full of old friends is a winning combination. Bonus points when the kids come by the campground to say hi and bring mom flowers.

This annual girlfriend getaway has become a weekend we so look forward to. We can get together at restaurants or people’s homes but there is something about a campground that just strongly suggests you let the weekend unfurl. Camp weekends are best when you get to spend them with friends, try out new things making sure there is lots of time to do nothing. That’s what every mother (and person) wants!

Layered Hummus Dip

Start with store bought hummus spread out in a pie pan and add chopped cucumbers, crumbled feta cheese, diced small tomatoes and salty Greek olives on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve it up on warm pitas that have been toasted up on the campfire.


  • Most of the ingredients are on grocery store salad bars. If you want to go really simple, put all the toppings in one container and just dump it on your hummus.  
  • Toast the store-bought pitas on extendable marshmallow forks and tear them in quarters to serve them. It’s pretty and rustic and easy to dip with.
  • Take store bought hummus up a notch by adding olive oil, salt, lemon juice and a dash of paprika. No one will know it was not homemade.
Janine Pettit

Girl Camper

Janine Pettit is a lifelong lover of camping who took a 25 year sabbatical when she married a “resort” type guy! She discovered that camping was still in the cards for her when she stumbled onto an article about a women’s outdoor adventure group that travels around the country in RVs, meeting new friends, checking off bucket list adventures and doing things she had only dreamed of. Janine has become an Ambassador for the Girl Camping movement and encourages women to go places and do things in her blog and podcast.