Camping with granchildren

Camping for grandchildren and grandparents. Both grandkids and their grandparents have more fun if ground rules are decided by parents and discussed in advance.


Ground Rules Make the Best Camping Trips.

Grandma T

Both grandkids and their grandparents have more fun when camping if ground rules are decided by parents and discussed in advance.

Camping is a wonderful vacation to be shared by grandchildren and grandparents.

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 children 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 children understand that they:

1. Have to help with chores, including camp set-up and take-apart duties.

2. Grandchildren have clear limits for activities, appropriate to age and approved by their parents.

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 and approved by the parents.

None of us want to spend the entire camping trip saying, "No." Therefore, try to anticipate what problems about activities might arise, ask about specific activities, then let the parents be the "bad guys" and say no in advance.

If parents can have a talk with the children before you leave, then give you specific instructions, everything will go smoothly and be more fun for all.

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Here are some specifics we ask parents to cover in advance:

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 we ask:

1. Each grandchild to bring his/her 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/she sees fit. This saves us from supplying a bunch of paper cups. The individualized mugs save arguments about who is using what. 

2. Each grandchild bring a flashlight with an extra set of batteries. They are warned to use their flashlights judiciously and if they ignore the warning, they usually have no light before the end of the trip.

One last suggestion:

If you have not camped with the grandkids before, take them close to their home. If it rains buckets, snows,  homesickness strikes, or discipline becomes a problem, it is easy enough to head for their house.


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