Crashing our Phone Usage: The Adventures of Camping in Yercaud as a Family

I have a 16-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son. Both teenagers are generally glued to their devices, always giving distracted, mumbling replies to direct questions. Although phones are not allowed at the dinner table in our home, we fall into a natural rhythm as a family. My husband and I work, and our kids study. Our daughter is sporty and the son is academic, so we ask related questions.

One day my husband was recommended by his friend to go glamping in Yercaud. We were a bit lukewarm about the experience since none of us had ever done ‘active holidaying’. But when we reached Yercaud, we received a warm welcome from the camp manager, Deepak, with the smell of coffee lightly perfuming the air.

Yercaud 15
LETS Camp Yercaud bonfire group

He led us to a cosy tent, one for my husband and me and one for the children next to ours. On the way, he informed us about the coffee plantations that were around. Extremely knowledgeable and patient, he stayed outside while we checked if everything was to our liking. He informed us about the food timings and told us to let him know if we needed anything. We were in the mood for some bonfire that night which we conveyed to him. He smiled and left. Camping in Yercaud was growing on us.

When we came out in the evening after settling down, our dinner was ready with a bonfire. We sat around each other, surrounded by open skies, a cool breeze, and green trees in an adventure camp. Fire danced in our midst, and our chat naturally turned to nature. We had been on vacation before, but how had the freshness and beauty of the outdoors never made it into our plans?

We made an easy jump to my younger son’s hilarious stories from our vacations. Sometime during the laughter, my son started singing in his sweet voice in tune with the music in the background and we were stunned by how well he sang! My husband and I shared a glance and then joined him in the singing while Deepak Ji brought out a guitar. My son had learnt to play guitar on YouTube as I learnt later!

By the time we wondered how we missed our boy’s talent, it was another morning and our daughter’s turn to shine. She trekked ahead of all of us, laughing and helping us all along amidst the lush plantation of Yercaud. I realized that I am not only raising an athletic daughter but a kind one too.

She joked with her brother till he forgot how tired he was and held my hand to help me up any big steps. Her smile still suns my memories of the trip. I wondered why I had been so harsh on her when she got a B in math if she was so capable of empathy and strength. It made me rethink the standards I have set up for my children. Because if it wasn’t for my daughter, I would get a B for trekking!

LETS Camp Yercaud Activity Trek 2

Once back in our tents, I was quiet while my husband had left for a shower. My astute daughter entered our tent, saw my face and asked me how I was feeling. How did I miss this as well? Or was it the phone that pulled us so far apart that we could not even see who we were—together and apart? Overcome by emotion, I told her I loved her; something I did every day but this time I looked into her eyes.

For some reason, both of us teared up at that. I stood up and hugged her. No words were uttered after that but we both knew that our apologies were understood. This was the luxury of our luxury camping experience in Yercaud.

Another melodious night ensued that evening with our daughter joining in with her tuneless voice box that all of us laughed at. More hugs were involved. The next morning, we had a lovely breakfast and I suddenly realized that the food always felt so homely that I didn't realize that it was not food that came from my home. So I made sure to thank the cook before we collected our packed bags and left.

Saying that I have fond memories of camping in Yercaud would be an understatement: Our Yercaud tour package turned out to be something I will cherish for as long as I live.

LETS Camp Yercaud guest photo 1