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Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by sblanck, Nov 11, 2018.
My mom said "go clean something.". Lol
. My mom was good at that, too. She even listed washing the walls as a job if we ever used the words "I'm bored". We learned real quick too.
Just my 2 cents with a 12 y/o DQPT (Drama Queen Pre-Teen)...she brings along her Tablet and plays games, calls friends (she uses it like a phone) or watches pre-loaded videos. There's also the DVD player as well as games that she plays with her sister and the family. I normally take their scooters with us and the fishing gear, she loves to fish and binoculars so she can look around us. Now we normally park near a beach of spring (DW & I scuba dive) so she also has the option of swimming. Oh and the "Friend" idea, I would NEVER invite her any of her friends since they are more drama than she is and one my wife sent home from a sleepover after the friend threw a temper-tantrum like a 4 year old.
Best of luck, you may need it.
I wish the kids, and me, could stay young forever. My twin boys are 15 now and my daughter is 18 and a freshman at BC. They are all still looking forward to camping this summer but I am not sure how many more years it will last.
We always had good luck bringing along a tent setup just for the kids...
The boys love to sleep in a sleeping bag under a tree haha...
Finding a campground with an swimming pool is priceless with kids...
With my older teenagers, they have a strong pull to connect to Wifi every few days (they don't have data), so if we are rustic / rural for too long, they get frustrated. They still like the camping, playing cards, hiking and stuff like that, but they have a lot of connections online that they miss if away. We were out 18 days straight last year and that was too long for them, so I need to split things up and do a combo of city and Park type stuff. Problem is that I would love nothing more than to be able to hike 12+ miles a day everyday, but they are not there right now. Probably winding down to the last year or two of most kids and then it will just be if they want to. It is bittersweet to seeing them get older and drift off like that, but I always hold out hope that once they get into the rat race more, they will be more appreciative of the chance to get away and truly relax.
"Can you turn on your hotspot?" is an oft-heard request while in the car. Camping, though, only at night. Fishing, swimming, running around with other kids all takes precedence. Even through the day at home, if the weather cooperates, Mason is outside building shelters in the woods or kicking a soccer ball. He gravitates to his screens when he's cooped up inside.
My boys are now 12 and 15. For many years the rule was "no electronics while camping". About a year ago we got them data plans for their phones which they now take camping. Even so, the expectation is they are normally not using the phones... we do allow the occasional Pokemon Go or other "active" type game, and allow them to keep in contact with their friends. But long periods of being buried in games, movies, or social media are not allowed.
They still really enjoy camping.
When our boys were young we went to my in-laws camp (a trailer on a small lake in near Alex Bay NY). No cable but we would bring a small tv to watch movies on at night. When they got cable it was reserved for night time and rainy days (same went for the Gameboy that they could bring along). As they grew older and we got our pup the rules were the same. So they always managed to entertain themselves. The oldest would go out in the boat and toodle around the lake, and when the younger one was of an age he did the same. They could also ride their bikes into town to get ice cream or just to ride around. I am also that parent that did not allow phone ownership until they had a drivers license, also no social media until they entered college. Some of my boys friends would question why and their standard answer was "mom said no", which usually ended the questions. Good luck!! Hope your trip goes well.
Something I have noticed as my son has gotten older - friendships are different these days. My son, who is 16 now, rarely has anyone over to the house, and doesn't spend a lot of time outside of school hanging out with his friends either. Instead they do group video calls, text message constantly, and collaborate electronically. Sometimes I don't understand it, but I am realizing that this is their childhood, not mine. When I was a kid I grew up with the advent of video games - Atari, Colecovision, Vectrex and Nintendo. We got on early with the PC craze, starting with an Apple ][e and then an IBM PC/XT clone. I was the kid from Wargames. My parents didn't fully understand those things, but they tolerated it and made efforts to understand. We still went on trips in the RV, visited Yosemite and Niagara Falls, and spent many weeks on the road during the summer. I still messed around outside at times, alone or with friends, but I'll admit I was far more comfortable with the coming digital age.
We have embraced the change and adapted to it - forcing kids to do it your way often backfires in spectacular fashion - I want my son to fondly remember his childhood, and I hope I can instill the same sense of fatherly responsibilities that he can then exhibit to his own family, when/if that happens.
Granted, we are fortunate to also have him in scouts, so he gets plenty of camping opportunities off the grid, and does fine. I will admit though that the troop is currently fighting with how to address electronics. On the one side you have parents that are strictly in the no electronics allowed in camp, while others are more lenient. Currently we have a box that all cell phones are supposed to be deposited in when we get to camp, and they get them back on departure. However, that rule is not always followed, and we can't seem to agree on a policy that can satisfy everyone.
I don't have any electronic rules at home or when camping and my kids are doing fine. Maybe I am just lucky. My kids do what they want when we camp and we have a great time.
Electronic issues are easy for us. We never have cell service or WiFi where we camp. Since it’s never been option they don’t really think about it. They’ve grown up camping in the boonies and luckily still love it at 8 and 14. We all have to disconnect every once in a while