Great idea, but you haven’t camped since you were a youngster? You remember it was fun: setting up the campsite, building a fire, playing in the lake, running through the woods, getting dirty. Those are great memories and now you want your kids to have those experiences. However, as a parent you see it in a different light. They are going to play with the fire, swim in a lake, get dirty! Never fear, it will be ok. You had so much fun, made so many wonderful memories, and so will they.
Start by planning your camping trip as a family
- Decide where you want to go. There are a variety of fabulous and diverse camping options in Connecticut. Campgrounds across the state, from the hill country to the central valley to the shore, offer something for every camper in your family.
- Camping is one of the most popular family vacation activities, so ask around. More than likely you have a friend or co-worker that has camped recently and can answer any questions that might pop up.
- Find a kid-friendly camping vacation site, campgrounds that offer activities for the whole family. Games like horseshoes and softball to fishing and hiking, swimming and canoeing, you will find a number of different ways to have fun together and make those all-important family memories.
To tent or not to tent
If you don’t have camping equipment, you can easily get all that you need - a tent, cook stove, sleeping bags, lanterns, and more - online or at your local sporting goods store. If you’re not keen on sleeping on the ground then try a cabin or RV rental. Many campgrounds offer this option. From back to basic cabins that offer comfortable beds and a roof over your head to luxury park model trailers with full baths and amenities, you will feel like you’re in a summer cottage.
Create a family bond
- Setting up a campsite takes teamwork. Everyone gets to pitch in to make it your home away from home. Share the say in how it should look and relax in your custom surroundings.
- Teach your children how to build a fire. It takes time and patience. You have to move at a slower pace. You have time to talk. Show them how to make a simple meal. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The fact that they can help is more important. Finish up with s’mores around that campfire. Getting sticky is part of the fun!
- Play together. Take a hike. Here is a chance to help your kids foster a love of nature and outdoor activities. You will be teaching them about a healthy lifestyle and giving them a better understanding of their world while having fun together.
- Get involved in the campground’s activities. Many parks have exciting daily activities or themed weekend events. Your family can be a team at these events, playing with and competing against other families. Cooperating and cheering on your “teammates” will bring your family closer together.
- Take pictures. Unplugging from technology is good, but photos keep the memories fresh for years to come. You don’t have to post them to Facebook. Keep them for just your family.
- Some campgrounds have arts and crafts. Together you can create “fridge” art, reminding you of the fun you had.
- Tell silly stories around the campfire. They are your stories, just for your family. Stories you will all remember for a lifetime.
Go camping, make memories
Camping can be the glue that bonds your family, a lovely time to look back on, and something that perhaps your grandchildren will get to experience one day. You can decide if you want it to be rustic or luxurious. Go camping and you will talk, play, enjoy a natural lifestyle experience, and make memories together. All this while having fun, exploring the great outdoors, and yes, getting dirty, just like you did when you were a kid.