Camping with Boys and Raising Boys: The outdoors’ experience of camping can be invaluable to boys in teaching them about nature and even life itself.
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Boys: Raising Confident Boys
Camping with Boys Parenting Boys to Manhood
Raising Boys: Camping is made for boys–room to roam, act silly, cut up, make noise, and be with friends.
Camping is a wonderful vacation to be shared by boys and their families. It is a good way to bring along a friend, too.
Camping is just made for children: A place to roam, cut up, make noise, act silly, learn about nature, and be with friends.
In today’s busy world, many parents do not have the time or the inclination to take kids camping. Yet that outdoors’ experience can be invaluable to boys in teaching them about nature and even life itself.
Besides, it is fun for all involved.
Or it can be fun. It is more fun if boys understand that they:
1. Have to help with chores, including camp set-up and take-apart duties.
2. Have clear limits for activities that are appropriate to their age and abilities.
For example, lots of camping spots include a body of water. Who can go to the water, who can’t, and under what conditions.? Is swimming OK? Under what conditions?
Other campgrounds may offer an opportunity to get lost in the woods, ride horses, rent canoes, etc. All of this is wonderful if it is age appropriate.
None of us want to spend the entire camping trip saying, "No." Therefore, try to anticipate what problems about activities might arise and say no in advance.
If possible, parents can have a talk with the boys before camping, giving them specific instructions and limits in advance. This makes everything go more smoothly for all concerned.
Here are some specific advance decisions parents can make and then communicate before the trip:
1. Can all the children go around the water? If not, who can and who can’t?
2. Can all the children go exploring in the woods alone? If not, who can and who can’t?
Also, make a list of gear each child should bring. Specifically I ask:
1. Each boy to bring his own mug for hot drinks and that each mug be different from all others. Each child uses this mug for all drinks, washing it out as he sees fit. This saves you from supplying an endless supply of paper cups. The individualized mugs also save arguments about who is using what.
2. Each boy brings a flashlight with an extra set of batteries. Warn him to use his flashlight judiciously. If he ignores the warning, he might have no light before the end of the trip.
One last suggestion:
If you have not camped with your family before or a new friend is accompanying you, camp close to home. It can rains bucket; it can even snow; homesickness can strike an accompanying friend. If you are close to home, then it is easy enough to break camp or take the friend home in the middle of the night.
Note: The opinions expressedherein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect theposition of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of ahealth, legal, or other professional whose expertise you might need to seek.