It’s no secret, especially by now, that my family and I all look forward to camping well before we actually go. It’s a year-round countdown. When we return home, it’s 358 days until we go again. In January, it’s 3 1/2 months until we can book our next trip. Once the trip is booked, the countdown is constant!
But what makes sleeping “on a rock” (as one grumpy reader called it) and spending a weekend or a week outside so enjoyable that avid campers are buzzing about it all year long?
The idea of getting away from everyday life is probably the most important aspect. Getting away from the job, the hustle and bustle of our routines and taking a break from responsibilities for a short time rank high, too.
But is it, can it be, fun?
Like any vacation, camping is what you make it. If you choose to be miserable, then you’re going to have a miserable time. If it’s raining and you just make the best of it, you’ll still have a fun time, without remembering that it rained the entire time for the rest of your life.
As an example, we camped with my parents about 4 years ago, and it was gray and it drizzled rain every single day. I barely noticed (and I have naturally curly hair that just adores humidity!). I didn’t give a hoot about the weather, I put a smile on my face and enjoyed every minute. You can too! Here’s how:
Research the activities at your destination
Some campgrounds have fun activities already scheduled and in place. Take some time to check the website or call ahead and see what kinds of activities, if any, your preferred campground offers.
The kids just might think that going to a Wolf Howl is the greatest thing in the world.
Almost everyone loves the beach
If your campground has a good beach, there’s all kinds of things you can do. Skip rocks, build sandcastles, swim, fish, paddle a canoe or kayak. You can also go snorkeling, diving, tubing or ride a wave runner.
Bring a blanket with some drinking water and snacks, and you can spend all day there!
No beach? Try water balloon fights or water gun fights. Or you could try this idea (these are UBER fun!):
Try your hand at sports
Bring a badminton set (or even just the rackets and a couple of birdies) or a few baseball gloves with a tennis ball (or a baseball if you’re confident you won’t get a black eye).
Try your hand at ladderball, bocce ball, or a game called corn hole:
Other ideas: soccer, football, lawn bowling, biking, hiking, tree or rock climbing.
Rain got you down?
Grab a book about various card games and a deck of cards. One of my favourite memories is playing go fish, rummy, 21 and 31, crazy eights and war with my mom when I was younger. UNO is a fun must for camping! If you have room for a cribbage board, that’s also a great choice.
Board games (try not to bring too many as they can be bulky to pack!) can be a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon, and let’s face it, Monopoly can last ALL day.
Games that don’t require any equipment: I Spy, or looking for items that begin with each letter of the alphabet.
Other ideas for you (and the kids)
Bug-hunting, leaf collecting, rock collecting, animal/bird watching, collecting fireflies, geo-caching (click here to find out how!), scavenger hunts, feeding chipmunks and squirrels, picking berries or whittling are all fun ways to spend time together.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you do to pass the time, in good weather or bad. All that matters is having a positive attitude, no matter what your trip throws your way, and having fun together.
I’d love to hear your ideas! What have I forgotten?