One of the most daunting tasks about taking the family camping is having the kids agree, and even more important, actually want to go. These suggestions might help to raise family morale before and during the trip to make everyone’s time away much more enjoyable.
There isn’t much that is guaranteed to bond your family like a journey to the great outdoors. Working as a team, spending hours together experiencing the beauty of new and exciting places, inside jokes — it couldn’t be easier to create lifelong memories.
Now, it’s hard for a lot of kids to realize the magnificence that can be camping. For some, it’s one of those things that becomes a much better experience when looking at it in retrospect. Some kids do get excited by the outdoors, but many find the shaky sleeping situations and lack of toilets a tad off-putting, especially younger kids.
While you shouldn’t force anyone, let alone a child, to venture into the wilderness if they don’t want to, you can definitely encourage them and find ways to make even the most reluctant of kids find joy in camping. With only a bit of planning and some ingenuity from the parents, they little ones will be begging to go again. These suggestions can help with that and get your kids camping.
Share the Work
A family camping journal could be a cool starting point. You start each day with the family writing in the activities for that day, with everyone having an input. It could even be interesting to read the journal of past days — or past trips — around the campfire together.
Each kid can be the planner for a day at a time. The planner gets to decide the activities for the rest of the family. It’s a way to ensure that everyone gets the opportunities to do their favorite activities.
Another way of spreading the work is with a rotating responsibility list. Each kid has a different set of responsibilities or chores around the campsite everyday, so they’ll all feel like they’re contributing.
It could be anything; songs that you all sing, stories that you tell each trip or continue each trip, reminiscing about past experiences, imparting wisdom on the children, or even as simple as a game or campfire after dinner every night. Traditions will make the whole family feel connected and create a sense of nostalgia about that camping trip that you all can look back on fondly.
For example, it might become a tradition that everyday of the trip, the family goes on a big hike. The choice of which hike and who leads it can rotate. Once you all return to your site, the one responsible for keeping the journal can write in all the highlights or funny jokes and draw pictures of what you saw.
Teach Your Children Well
The great outdoors is one of the best places for children to learn and grow. With the help of a few books (or the parents’ own knowledge, if it exists), the opportunities to learn are vast. It could be about flora and fauna around the area, cloud and weather types, astronomy, survival skills, and so much more.
Another interesting activity that you can try is geocaching. It’s real life treasure hunting and find me a kid that wouldn’t love that! You can teach them (or both learn) to navigate different terrains and to problem solve.
For the kids who are more withdrawn or very young, it might be better to ease them into the experience by doing a lighter trip to start, maybe in a cabin or a motorhome. During the day, everyone can still enjoy all the activities that being in nature allows such as hiking and making campfires. However, at night the kids can be comfortable with some familiar amenities that are like home.
It doesn’t matter how you choose to camp. All that matters is that you make the choice to venture out, spend time with the people you love, and appreciate all that the natural world has to offer. A kid who grows up resilient and comfortable without the comforts of society will become an adult who can deal with anything that life throws at them. Step outside.