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Old 06-14-2014, 10:53 AM   #1
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Teenagers and camping...Do they resist family camping trips?

We've been camping as a family since our kids were barely out of diapers, we go maybe 4 times a year, mostly long weekends.

Since we got our TT we've let our kids bring a friend if they want (on some trips) and never had a problem.

My son is now 13 and last fall became a 'teenager' in wants to do things with his friends, has to do 'cool' things, dress right, etc. If our (family) schedule conflicts with is 'social schedule' there is, umm, 'resistance' to cooperating...attitude may be a better word.

So as we're planning our camping trips this summer my daugher has no problem finding friends to go (she's 10).

My son...well, 'you just don't do that sorta thing when you're my age' he says regarding bringing a friend (girl or boy) camping. And every weekend we pic is the 'wrong' weekend as his friends are doing 'something' he has to participate in.

So, do teenagers not camp? How do you keep them camping? (we don't bring video games, our usual camground has pay per day wifi so we don't have that either).
He likes to swim, will bike, hike, play games, guitar...but staying home alone at 13 for a weekend is out of the question.

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Old 06-14-2014, 10:57 AM   #2
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I just got back from a 13 day trip with a 13 year young granddaughter.
She loved it and was a great help the whole time.

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Old 06-14-2014, 11:00 AM   #3
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What are you going to do with him if he doesnt come?

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Old 06-14-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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He has to come...but having a whiny attitude uncooperative PITA along a vacation means it's no vacation!

Hence my asking...

He seems OK once we get there...but planning and fun at all.
Jill & Chris, Wills (14) Evie (11) & Toby our collie (5)
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Nights camped 2011: 11 2012: 18 2013: 12 2014: 12 2015: 13 2016: 3
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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My family has camped since I was born, and I'm 60 now. We're now camping with grandkids. We bring friends when we can.

Bikes, fishing gear, games, books, movies. We canoe, do ranger programs, swim, hike, make fires.

Kids will grouse and complain, but we've always just said "tough luck, this is what we're doing. You can choose have fun or be miserable. If you want to be miserable, go sit over there by yourself and be miserable."

Over the years we've found that once we get there and set up, they get over it and have fun in spite of themselves. Click image for larger version

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This is the 12 year old building a fire by himself for "practice".
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #6
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My two hated it for the same reasons. "Well so and so invited me over, everybody is going!" "It's too much trouble having to turn my bed back into a couch."

So for eight years I lost. My TT got used for two week long trips, one to Disney so I guess that made it ok, and maybe five weekend trips. All begrudgingly, all attitude and complaining.

Oldest is 20 and can stay home, youngest is 18 and has declared he's moving out and skipping college.

So this February I bought my 5er.

What I did when I did get them to go is we brought movies, planned things that would interest them and honestly the times I won I told them it was happening and if they made my life easy then their phones and internet service wouldn't experience unfortunate interruptions. Frankly, that worked the best. Kids forget who's boss, it's written in their teenage DNA, sometimes you have to remind them.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:09 PM   #7
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Old now but we have two and never had any problem with one (oldest boy) but when our daughter went to high school all hell broke loose but we forced compliance and suffered a few times, funny thing was when she reached sixteen she wanted to come and she and her friend use to accompany us every weekend now we are on the second batch of grandkids 10 and 12 and they love coming. Parenting is the toughest career.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:21 PM   #8
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Ours have always come along with us no issues since they were infants. They are still coming with us but not as often, they are 26 & 28 & we have have gained the DIL ........ & the grandson, he's 14 months & has been along since he was 4 months.

All kids are different but glad ours were never a problem......


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Old 06-14-2014, 01:06 PM   #9
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Lots of good advice here. We're are in the middle of this era right now. I've got an almost 18yr old son, an almost 16yr old girl and a 14yr old girl. Each one has a different take on life and what makes them tick.
If there is any type of fishing involved my son is a willing participant. The middle child is the one to ask to bring a friend, and the youngest is pretty much up for anything. When we plan a family trip, it is just that. A family trip and all are coming. We try not to plan dates that conflict with the truly important things that they want to do, but as others have said, they tend to be busy all the time at this age so inevitably they will have to miss some teenage social event. Too bad.
There is attitude sometimes, but once we are on our way that usually diminishes. As SKnight said, a short term suspension... I mean interruption of cell/data service can work wonders. I give them plenty of chances before it comes to that, but in the end, it is only a click away. They need to be reminded that the tail doesn't wag the dog.
Good luck! They may fuss now, but 10 years from now, they'll thank you for the great memories.
I live with fear every day, and sometimes she lets me go fishing.

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Old 06-14-2014, 01:25 PM   #10
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My oldest son (16) says he is not coming at all this summer and we have told him then you must arrange somewhere to sleep and eat and have whoever that is contact us because you will not stay home alone and we will not arrange it for you. However this last time we went we asked his girlfriend and parents if she could accompany us and he was a very well behaved son to my surprise!!

She had an incredible time and it was her first to ride in the toys (side by side's) and said she would like to come more often!!

My other 2 (9 girl and 11 boy) still love it and have a great time riding their ATV's and going fishing when papa brings the boat.

All in all when we go camping it is a family thing and we expect the whole family to come attitude or not. We can deal with it as it happens.

We got a big enough 5er to hold lots of friends so that is what we do. They always seem to enjoy it after we get there anyways!!


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