If you're a lover of camping, then it’s only natural to want to pass on that love to your children. Sometimes, however, this is easier said than done. This is easier said than done because camping, no matter how fun and fulfilling it can be, is still a relatively demanding exercise. It is still something you have to put a lot of work into and have to prepare properly for, and children aren’t always willing to do that, especially in their out of school.
So, yes, giving your children the camping bug might be a difficult task, but it is still something that you can do. To see just how you can do it, and more to the point do it successfully, make sure to read on.
Start them young
If you truly want your kids to be bitten by the camping bug, then you must introduce them to the concept of it as early as possible. By doing so, as is what happens when you introduce anything at a young age, camping will become routine to them as they grow, and when something becomes routine it is easy to accept and embrace. So, as soon as you feel as if your children will be able to take in a camping experience and really remember it, get them out and get them camping.
Avoid treacherous conditions
Something that will turn your kids off camping quicker than you can even suggest the idea to them are treacherous conditions. This is because, let’s face it, what child do you know or have ever known that likes cold, rainy conditions? If you’re trying to think of an answer to that, you’ve missed the point. The point is, kids don't like the rain or the cold, so don’t take the camping in it! If you do you will stand to ruin their initial experiences of it, and if these into experiences are ruined then you will find it hard to win them around as time goes by. So, check the weather forecast and make sure the weather is going to be nice before you set off on your camping trip.
Stay as close to home as possible
During your children’s initial experiences with camping, it is best to camp out in a place that is as close to home as possible. It is best to do this, first of all, because a long car ride to a camping destination might bore your kids before their camping experience starts, and that wouldn’t be a good start! Second of all, your children might feel pangs of homesickness on their first camping trip away, and the closer you are to home might ease these pangs and help them to get comfortable with the camping environment they find themselves in.
Even if this means camping out in your backyard to start with, just make sure you don’t venture too far away.
Let the kids have an input
If you want your kids to truly enjoy their first few camping trips, then you have to give them license to have an input in regards to where they would like to go, what they would like to do and what (maybe even how) they would like to eat. You should also let them pack their own camping clothing, as well as their favourite things and snacks, too. If you do all of this you will make them feel included, and that is vital if you want them to feel as if they are not being forced out on the adventure. Also, if you do all of this you will give them more chance of battling the aforementioned pangs of homesickness that could strike them, as they will have their very own creature comforts with them.
Let your kids bring friends along
To stop boredom setting in on your camping trip (something you must be trying to do at all times), you might want to consider letting your child bring a friend along for the experience. You see, kids and their parents do have fun, but kids and other kids have more fun. And, if you want your kids to have as much fun as they possibly can, then it’s only logical to allow their friends to come along for the ride. You should certainly consider doing this if you are taking an only-child away on a camping trip.
If you don't fancy being in charge of a camp full of kids, then why not ask fellow parents to come along, too? By doing so you might just make some new friends of your own
Try to give your kids the true ‘camp experience’
When trying to give your children the camping bug, it’s only fair that you provide them with a true ‘camp experience’ in order to allow them to make their own minds up about whether it is for them or not. So, yes, this could mean handing out based to them should they complete a task, like a scout leader would; to find customisable badges, make sure to visit the website. Yes, this should mean roasting marshmallows on a fire. And yes, this most certainly means not allowing your kids to go back indoors or to sleep in the car halfway through the night!
If you want your kids to be bitten by the camping bug, then make sure to take heed of all of the advice above. If you don’t, then your child’s fledgling experience whilst camping could be enough to turn them off for life, and that is the exact opposite of what you want to be doing, right? So, avoid bad weather, try to fight homesickness and give them a true ‘camp experience’, amongst other things, if you truly want to set your child up for a life of camp loving.