GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted April 5th, 2022

Does Your Kid Stink at Camping?

Happy Camper Blog

Sometimes, even when the rest of the family can’t wait to go camping, there can be that one kid who crosses their arms and stubbornly insists, “I hate camping!” Does this sound like one of your kids? Well, all is not lost. If you use a few of the following tips and strategies, you just might win them over.


Start with a “dry run.” Set up a tent in your backyard and let them camp there so they can have fun but still have the security of being close to home. If that goes well, branch out and try taking a day trip where you set up camp.


Choose a kid-friendly campground. If your kid doesn’t like to camp, maybe you just haven’t found the right campground yet. It’s very possible that once they find out there’s a swimming pool, splash pad, playground, mini-golf, laser tag or a fun themed event like a pirate’s weekend, they’ll quickly change their mind about camping. At some campgrounds, you can even stay in a covered wagon or tee pee!


Get them involved in the planning. Review your campground possibilities with them and let them have a voice in your decision-making so they can feel some confidence-boosting ownership for your trip. If they’re old enough, have them pack their own bag, too, to get them more involved in the process.


Plan food and snacks you’ll know they’ll like. This may not be the time to test out that new campfire meal you’ve been wanting to try. That’s because if it doesn’t work out, your kid might associate that one well-intentioned but less-than-tasty meal with camping.


Involve them in setting up camp. When you arrive at your campground, give your hesitant little camper a few age-appropriate tasks so they can take pride in your campsite.


Be prepared for an incident (or three) of “I’m bored!” Depending on what your kid likes to do, bring along some easy arts and crafts projects, outdoor games like ring toss or a ready-to-go list for an outdoor scavenger hunt.


Pack a few surprises. When the time is right, bring out some glow sticks, squirt guns, headlamps or other fun items they’re not expecting.


Don’t forget the favorites. If your kid has a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, pillow or something else that keeps them in their comfort zone, be sure to put it on your packing list so you don’t forget it.


Be positive. Kids often look to their parents for clues on how to react to different experiences, so your positive attitude and enthusiasm can be infectious.

You might want to give some of these tips a try. Who knows? You could end up putting your little reluctant camper on the path to becoming a lifelong camping enthusiast. To find kid-friendly campgrounds that offer activities they’ll find hard to resist, go to GoCampingAmerica.com and enter your favorite destination(s). Then have fun planning a camping adventure the whole family will enjoy!