Recap: Shawnee Island Camping Experience in the Pocono Mountains

Correspondent Nyasha Chikowore enjoyed a camping experience in the Pocono Mountains. Read about her relaxing weekend including camping, canoeing, and beer tasting.

My usual summer plans consist of day parties, Miami, festivals, and cocktails. This year however, I decided to step out of my usual comfort zone and accepted the invite from the Shawnee Inn Golf Resort to try out their brand spanking new ‘Shawnee Island Camping Experience.’

The historic Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort is located in the Delaware River Valley of the Pocono Mountains in Delaware, PA.  For city folk like me, the views in the Poconos are simply breathtaking. The water is clear, the skies are gorgeous and the trees and grass are a healthy shade of green we don’t usually experience in real life.

The Shawnee Inn’s new camping offering gives you the camping experience without the anxiety and hassle of doing everything yourself. Your camp site is set up for you on the private Depuy Island, which includes ready-made tents, with two twin air mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows and a lantern.

Your visit also includes experienced camping guides who are responsible for setting up, manning the fire for your nightly s’mores intake, making breakfast in the morning (thanks man bun Trevor!), taking you for your morning hike, and guiding your canoeing endeavors. They’re also great at reassuring you that the sounds that you’ll hear at night are most likely just raccoons or deer and not bears, which the Poconos are known for.

I was lucky to experience the camp with a good group of fellow media from New York, New Jersey and D.C. We also had a couple from England join the group, award-winning travel writer Phoebe Smith & her boyfriend Neil Price, who does the photography for their travels. They stopped in at Shawnee while hiking the Appalachian Trail, a trip inspired by Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (FYI: the movie comes out this September). They’re actually going to hike through 14 states before they return to England to document their experience. In case you’re wondering, they appreciate how much cheaper the food and gas is here in the U.S., and were really surprised by how polite people in Georgia were. Ha.

Phoebe & Neil pointed out how much they’ve been enjoying the craft beer here in the U.S. Apparently, Americans are more experimental with flavors than they are in the U.K., which funnily enough, the Shawnee Inn also houses the Shawnee Craft Brewing Company. As an avid drinker of liquor, I stepped out of the norm again and tasted their Belgian-style wheat beer, the Biere Blanche.  The waiter recommended it as a good starting point for a non-beer drinker. It was refreshing, had a mild tartness and some citrus notes to it.  I’d order it again, with the slice of orange for the aesthetics.

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All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by Shawnee Inn’s camping experience. If you’re into nature but not super excited about completely roughing it, this experience is for you. It would be a good getaway for a group of friends who want to leave the city behind for a few days but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to fly away. It’s also a great idea for families who want the kids to experience the outdoors in a controlled environment, whilst having the mainland close by.

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Along with the island camping experience, the resort will also offer Shawnee Island Glamping (glamorous camping), which is hidden within the golf resort. It’s somewhat similar to the regular camping experience but you get actual queen sized beds in your tent and the ability to plug in your phone at the end of the night. Both experiences were pretty glam considering my past camping experiences, so you’ll be in good hands whichever route you choose to go. For more information on all things Shawnee Inn you can visit them here and tell them we sent you!

Photo Credit: Nyasha Chikowore