When you have kids, going on family camping trips can be difficult. Even if they are fine with it at first, there may still come a time when they simply don’t want to be a part of it. This is a shame, as there’s so much to discover in the outdoors and kids are missing out on this great experience. Here are some ideas on how to rekindle the outdoor spark in your children.
1. Prepare For Camp
There are different ways in which you can prepare your children for camp, and the main one is to simply tell them well in advance that a trip is planned. Depending on how keen your kids are, this can be all the preparation they need. If they have lost their enthusiasm for camping, consider undertaking camp activities such as making a fire and building a tent with them as a dry run a week or two before the trip. Show them on the map where it is exactly you are going, and let them know what fun things you all plan to do once there.
If they’ve lost their enthusiasm for the outdoors completely, but are interested in sports, then it is worth considering combining the two and sending them to a week-long adventure camp in which camping essentials such as shelter building, fire making and orienteering are taught as well as sports like archery, climbing, hiking and paint balling. Experiencing these new activities with peers around their own age may well rekindle their enthusiasm for the outdoor world
2. Keep Them Involved
Once on the camping trip try to keep the kids involved in the camping experience as much as possible. Instead of sending them off to play amongst themselves while you set up camp, give them tasks such as finding nearby firewood or holding the tent pegs in place while you set up the tent. If they have fire making skills then let them take the lead on this task and simply supervise the task without lecturing or taking over if it isn’t successful after the first try.
3. Keep Them Entertained
The main reason to go camping is to enjoy yourselves, so make sure that everyone enjoys the trip by keeping the kids entertained. Have a plan of action before setting off and plan an activity filled trip. If the kids are really into cycling then include some mountain biking time into the trip. If you all like a good and challenging hike then make sure that everyone knows where you will be hiking and what ground you want to cover that day.
If you have a keen photographer (no matter how young) among you make sure to give them the chance to take that brilliant photo and maybe target areas which are renowned for their great landscapes.
Be sure to be prepared with some fun and spooky camp side stories for the evening, and remember to stop every now and then to have a quick game of catch or tag just because you’re on holiday and you can.
This article was written by Sarah Oxley on behalf of Doit4real, who provide summer and adventure camps for kids aged 10-16. Learn more about adventure camps here. Sarah is an enthusiastic hiker and photographer who wishes to promote the idea of the great outdoors among people of all ages.