Camping is an excellent opportunity to enjoy each other’s company, enjoy your backyard and enjoy activities you don’t normally do.  Take time to have a family activity in the backyard to build your skills before going camping if you do not have a backyard go to a nearby park.

Here are a few suggestions:

FOOD EXPERIMENTING:  The backyard is a great place to test out the food that you are going to prepare on your next camping trip.  This will build confidence both in the kids and parents if you have not cooked out a lot.

NATURE HIKE: The backyard is often taken for granted; your camping trip is the perfect opportunity to appreciate it. Bring a botanical book and binoculars and learn about the creatures and plants you live with daily.

 SCAVENGER HUNT: This is as much fun for the parents to plan as it is for the kids. Make a list of items for the kids to find in the backyard. The team (or child) who finds everything on the list first gets to skip their next cleanup duty.

NATURE PRINTS: When the scavenger hunt ends, your family can spend some quiet time making leaf prints. Put the leaf under a piece of paper and gently rub a pencil over it. The details of the leaf will make a beautiful keepsake.

MERIT BADGES: Like in Scouts, parents can set up a badge system to reward their children for helping out. Cooking, clean-up, tent-pitching, and nature skills are badging the children will be proud to receive. This is an excellent way for the kids to have fun while learning.

STORYTELLING: Everyone loves to hear a bedtime story, whether you are toasting marshmallows over the wheelbarrow or lying around in your sleeping bags. Why not invite a friend over to tell a story? A surprise guest is a special treat for the kids.

 STARGAZING: It is not often that we take the time to look at the stars above us. Bring along the book of constellations and spend some time exploring the universe.