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Old 05-14-2015, 07:05 AM   #1
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Camping - The Teen years. ???

Hello everyone,

I know there are many individuals here who have camped for many years and have gone through the teen years.

My children are aged 13 and 17 and they are getting busier by the minute. Between school, sports practice, sports camp, etc. it seems like even the best laid plans in advance can be put at risk.

The past few years we have tried to accommodate the older one. We try to stay within one hour of home on the three long weekends each year so that one of us can drive him back or join later depending on what his commitments are. But now my youngest one is getting busy also and I am wondering if I should just throw in the towel for these long weekends and camp once a year. I like to camp as a family and do not like splitting up all the time. I know the time will pass. Have people paused during these years and just not camped? It would only be about 5-6 years. I am sad because I just bought a new camper and dreamed of using it.

Maybe I am being too accommodating but I like to instill in my children that when you get involved in something you need to see it through and commit the time required at a minimum. It is about setting priorities. Playtime/vacations need to take a back seat to commitments. Just like kindergarden - You have to get your "must dos" done first, then playtime.

Any insights? Comments?

Thanks,

Vin.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinmaker View Post
Hello everyone,

I know there are many individuals here who have camped for many years and have gone through the teen years.

My children are aged 13 and 17 and they are getting busier by the minute. Between school, sports practice, sports camp, etc. it seems like even the best laid plans in advance can be put at risk.

The past few years we have tried to accommodate the older one. We try to stay within one hour of home on the three long weekends each year so that one of us can drive him back or join later depending on what his commitments are. But now my youngest one is getting busy also and I am wondering if I should just throw in the towel for these long weekends and camp once a year. I like to camp as a family and do not like splitting up all the time. I know the time will pass. Have people paused during these years and just not camped? It would only be about 5-6 years. I am sad because I just bought a new camper and dreamed of using it.

Maybe I am being too accommodating but I like to instill in my children that when you get involved in something you need to see it through and commit the time required at a minimum. It is about setting priorities. Playtime/vacations need to take a back seat to commitments. Just like kindergarden - You have to get your "must dos" done first, then playtime.

Any insights? Comments?

Thanks,

Vin.
Don't consider it "playtime", consider it "family time", and no commitment, such as work, activities, etc., are as important as this time spent with family. In 20 years, they will forget that weekend they worked, that game they played, but they will remember that weekend that maybe you all just sat around the camper, played games, talked, or roasted marshmallows. I wish I could some weekends over when I was younger, another camping weekend with my Dad would be wonderful!
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:51 AM   #3
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When our kids were those ages we did not do to much family camping, because of all the other things they had going on. I did spend many of nights camping with my son in Boy Scouts including the best time of both of our lives at Philmount Scout camp in NM. On that trip we also received word that he was approved for his Eagle Scout rank and he turned 18.


Also spend many of nights camping with the daughter while she was in girl scouts. Wife was not a big fan of tent camping. And the leaders like having help with the cooking and some of the skills stuff.


Still took time to do at least one big family trip and one or two weekenders. Now both kids are grown married and gave us three great grand kids. twin boys age 2 and one girl age 14 months. All of them have been camping with grandma and grandpa. All though not in tents. Grandma and grandpa like the motorhome better. Still have the tents and sleeping bags and will show them camping like that when they get a little older.


Keep camping and enjoy life and the kids, they are small for to short of time.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:52 AM   #4
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We had a (Family) come to the Tadpole Rally with their (2) Sons. The oldest passed going to His Prom that W/E and it was also His birthday! He also Won the (Frog Flippin Contest) as well! Camping seems to be a (Family Sport)! Youroo!!
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:52 AM   #5
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X2 Aquaman!!!


From age 9 or 10 until I left to join the Marines we went on some sort of vacation every year, many times up to the Smokey Mountains. We lived in FL, so there were always FL trips. Three trips in particular stick out in particular. One 3 week and two 4 weeks trips all the way across the country and up into British Columbia. Just me and Mom in a 73 Chevy window van. Those are memories that I treasure each and every day and I think its safe to say just about everyone I know has heard about those trips. I wouldn't trade that part of my childhood for anything, no matter what. Make the time, all the other "obligations" are secondary. The kids may grumble but in the end they will truly thank you for it!
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:53 AM   #6
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I agree with Aquaman, he put it very well. Especially as teenagers, since they are beginning to drift away anyway, the time spent with family cements those bonds and they don't forget it. Mine are 27 and 25 now, but their favorite times to remember are the trips. (not saying there wasn't some resentment at the actual time, but they don't remember that part, lol)
Set a schedule of trips, let them know it's expected, and the rest of the time is theirs. It's your life too, Vin. When kids realize they can give a parent something that makes them happy, they learn a great life lesson. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:57 AM   #7
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I understand about kids and sport or other activities and the commitment. I think sometimes we get our kids involved in to many things and then on one is happy. One thing you should ask the child is do you want to play sports or are they doing it because you want them too. My son told me one year "mom I don't want to play baseball, I want to go camping", that being said if they start a season of sport I think they should finish it out.
Like AquaMan said it's family time not play time. Now that my kids are grown and on there own, every time we get together a story from a camp out is always shared.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:59 AM   #8
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"I like to instill in my children that when you get involved in something you need to see it through and commit the time required at a minimum." Now that statement says it all. Good on you. Having said that, when our three were in that age frame, they really enjoyed camping and we camped off the grid, rode dirt bikes, etc. We & they arranged to get the time off in order to go camping. We went out at least 5 times a year on long weekends starting in May and ending in October. Now our youngest is 40 and his trailer is in the driveway and being picked up today to go for our long weekend here in Canada. His 2 kids are only 3 & 7 but they have camped with us starting at 3 months old. Our other 2 "kids" also have trailers and they camp with their families. They are both 2000 miles away from us but we meet up with them every other year in the Rockies to dry camp. So it's something of a tradition that they carry on. They may have missed something at school or on the sports field but they still go camping. So there are decisions that you will have to make and we can only tell you what we have experienced. It worked for us. Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:19 AM   #9
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The stories that we old folks hear sitting around campfires with grown son...... what went on when mom/dad were off street-rod camping, are priceless... after he'd moved out and we were re-arranging, the wife came across a big pic of a band...... upon looking closer, she thought she recognized the curtains...guess where the neighborhood party was that week-end! Nothing like spending time with family now that the hustle/ bustle of making a living is over. Camping will always be there!
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:47 AM   #10
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Unfortunately, kids activities have taken over, ruling our lives, between school and activities kids tend to tie up all their/our time going somewhere, but not spending time together.

Look back, are your fondest memories likely to be your parents toting you to activities or the time spent together as a family?

I applaud your lessons about commitment and follow through, but they can skip the occasional baseball game to do what's really important, be part of the family.

Dig your heels in, activities need weekends off too.

Signed,
The step-parent that has survived a 19 and 21 year old.
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