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Summer Camping (Part One): The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Posted by Jen on June 24, 2009 at 7:00 AM in JenNatureSummer Fun
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We had our tent exactly ten years before it ever made its way out of the box onto a real campground. The first time we camped, Carter spent the entire time looking like this:


While the rest of us responded like this while he complained and cried ALL DAY long:


It was no fun, let me tell you.

Two years later, I'm happy to report, we recently had a very positive camping experience that I'd love to share, but before I do, I'd love to know how camping works with your family. Did you grow up in a camping family? Do all your kids like to camp, or do you, like me, have a wild card on your hands who's been known to fall apart when encountering anything new and potentially overwhelming?


Wife and Mommy writes...

I've never taken my three kids camping...because The Husband is not a camper and will not consider doing it! So I will have to rely on the goodness of my friends who camp to invite us along. I love short stretches.

De in D.C. writes...

We do car-camping a couple times a year, usually with my son's cub scout pack. Before our first camping trip we did a backyard campout to get our son used to sleeping with us in a tent (only marginally successful; he slept, we didn't). Both my partner and I grew up camping with out families so we're comfortable in getting things set up and preparing meals over a fire. The part we struggle with is making sure we have activities to do during the day. Our 8yo doesn't want to hike and we don't want to play pokemon with him all day! It's hard with an only kid since they don't have anyone else to play with on family trips.

GailNHB writes...

I grew up camping with my family and didn't like it very much at all. My husband has never been camping in a tent. To us, roughing it is going to the Days Inn. Never tried it with the kids. We are hotel people. I hope you have greater success with your kids in the coming months. But I would suggest camping someplace near an optional bailout venue. Just in case...

Have fun!

Susie writes...

I am a single mom, but I take my 5 kids camping every year. When I was young we camped a few times. Mostly we didn't go on vacations. I try to do things differently. We started out at the Navy base @ Point Mugu where I felt safe. Now we go where ever. Games for the kids help. Water toys as well as balls etc. We treat it as special family time and we play together.

Dave writes...

It is good to hear your son is getting use to camping. When I grew up it was the most exciting thing especially the bear kicking over the trash can in the night at Lewey Lake in the Adirondacks back in the 70's. When we were young it was a big thing, however more people do not go camping, they go to Cancun or something. But I think that is changing with the economy. Camping is good for the family and good for the economy.


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