A camping trip is a great way to strengthen your family. As parents, one of our biggest desires is to strengthen the bonds of our family. In this day and age, it seems that our culture either pulls us apart or isolates us.
We're running all over taking our kids to soccer practice, ballet lessons or gymnastics. It's hard to find time to sit down to a meal together.
Or maybe our children are spending too much time in their rooms alone, playing with video games . If this seems familiar to you, I have a suggestion that could help you strengthen the bonds of your family.
A family camping trip is a great way to encourage your whole family to work together toward a common goal. There are five ways this can be accomplished.
1. Preparation: Include the whole family in planning the trip. You need to choose a campground. So you must first decide how far you want to travel, what activities you want to highlight and how long you want to stay.
You should discuss with your children if you want a campground that has swimming, fishing, hiking or maybe horseback riding. You also need to make checklists for packing, including clothes, equipment and food. Let everyone pick out recipes to make.
After you decide on the recipes, it is helpful to make a chart listing the days you will be gone and the meals that you want to have on each day. This way, you won't forget an important food item.
2. Execution: Now you must assemble all the items you want to take. Pack each meal in a separate zip-loc bag. Take plenty of containers or crates to keep your meals organized.
Let your children pack their own clothes, with supervision. Let young children take a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
Involve everyone in packing all your equipment. When you get to the campsite, assign chores to each family member, according to their abilities. Even very young children can gather kindling on the ground.
3. Shared Experience: There are many areas where everyone can work together to achieve a common goal.
Setting up the campsite is one area where everyone can participate.
You need to find a level area to set up your family tent. One of the best tents I have found for family camping is the Coleman Weathermaster.
Building a campfire is another group activity. Many families choose to bring their own portable grill and that certainly makes cooking a lot easier. But...everyone wants a campfire at night! This is a great "bonding" time.
There's just something about a campfire that relaxes you and makes you want to share things. Remember to bring fire starters, which are the camper's friend. Plan some special treats to enjoy around the fire. There's always the tried and true s'mores.
Kids love popcorn that you can buy in a little foil pan and have fun cooking it over the fire. And of course, there are marshmallows.
4. Discovery: Set your mind to learn something about nature, either the trees or flowers, or birds. A good pair of birding binoculars such the Nikon Monarch binoculars will increase your enjoyment. Plan some hikes to discover what nature has to offer. Bring along some nature books to supplement your own knowledge.
5. Creating Memories: You will have a great time, and don't worry if something goes wrong. Everyone working together to fix the goof is what will be remembered.
Plan to keep a journal of your trip. Take plenty of pictures. You can make a scrapbook or a photo collage when you get home. If you combine your pictures with your journal, you will have a family treasure that you will enjoy for years to come.
A little bit of preparation for your camping trip will guarantee that you will have a family adventure that will bring everyone together in a fun and exciting way. So get out there and go camping!
About the Author of How A Camping Trip Can Strengthen Your Family:
Stephanie Trementozzi is a mother of five and a grandmother of eight. She has enjoyed camping with both her children and grandchildren.
She is also the publisher of her own website, http://www.always-outdoors.com/ which contains many articles on camping and outdoor activities.