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Old 03-03-2013, 07:14 PM   #21
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my kids G8, B10 love camping and we have a great time everywhere we go but they plaster their face in their DS`s and forget about how long it took to get to the site. after we arrive they push the slides out and straighten their own room, then it is I`m hungry, and thristy, when is it going to be dark so we can do smores, my sister is in my way, tell mom that tyler is not playing fair.on and on ,and on... but we have fun, and I lose my hair
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:56 PM   #22
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The creative cooking involves letting the kids make a sandwich of their choice using a campfire sandwich maker (internet acquired image below).

After the first few times with help from mom and dad, the kids wanted to start experimenting so they were "willingly coerced" into helping plan the meals and go shopping. As we would walk through the store, they would say things like "Can I make a sandwich out of M & M's?" Being one to love an experiment, we would try. Right now their favorites are white bread, barbecue sauce, and mozzarella cheese (we call them pizza pockets) and multi-grain bread, Gouda cheese, and hot pepper.
Just add your favorite pie filling out of a can. We called them pudgy pies. The kids loved them and making them.

Just keep on making memories.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:05 PM   #23
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Our son (13) enjoys geocaching. Caches are found everywhere (Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site). It is a great way to get in some excerise and getting back into nature.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:11 PM   #24
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Our son (13) enjoys geocaching. Caches are found everywhere (Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site). It is a great way to get in some excerise and getting back into nature.
That has been something that I've wanted to try.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:25 PM   #25
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Two other things that I've done with the kids while tent camping that will work great with any type of camping are "creative cooking" and star gazing.

The creative cooking involves letting the kids make a sandwich of their choice using a campfire sandwich maker (internet acquired image below).

After the first few times with help from mom and dad, the kids wanted to start experimenting so they were "willingly coerced" into helping plan the meals and go shopping. As we would walk through the store, they would say things like "Can I make a sandwich out of M & M's?" Being one to love an experiment, we would try. Right now their favorites are white bread, barbecue sauce, and mozzarella cheese (we call them pizza pockets) and multi-grain bread, Gouda cheese, and hot pepper jelly.

When we first started star gazing we would use a hand held chart and a book. It was okay but now we use an app on the smart phones called Sky Map. It was free and it is really easy to use as well as informative. Its like being at a planetarium while being outside. My daughter and I have even been star gazing at home, something we never did before the Sky Map.
I love those campfire sandwich makers. We use the pie filling (Blueberry, apple or what ever you like) from the can in them. Then we put them in a bowl with ice cream over it. It is YUMMMMMYYY. The kids love making thier own individual hot pie.......

My two boys 7 and 11 have chores they have to do in set up and break down. They are getting better at it. My boys love camping they can't wait, first trip is already booked for April..... Big trip booked for Cedar Point OH!!!!!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #26
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We make sure when camping, we create/participate in activities we normally don't do at home...it wears out our two kids (G8, B5) as they fall asleep without is asking/telling them it's bedtime!

Started both our kids camping while in cribs, luckily we could fit the pack n play crib in our bunkhouse slideout.

Since day one, I talk up the whole Sasquatch spoof, kids are so deep in it the wife asks me to give it a break
We always do night hiking & look for Sasquatch sightings...kids are lovin it!

As most siblings, they want to aggravate each other every second while in tow to our campground trips...to alleviate the commotion, we get kids set up with DVD movies and/or time on their Nabia pads...makes for a much pleasant drive for us adults!

Kids are in charge of firewood/kindling collection, trash disposal and helping plan our activities day to day at the site.

All in all...have a blast with your kids, as we all know, they'll be grownup & gone sooner than later.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:54 PM   #27
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Its for the kids and I like it too

“Kids are the reason we camp/go so many places”, well that is how I sell it to the wife. From the style of TT to the TV and most things between like no tv. Maybe I am just lucky(I am), my now 8 and 10 year old girls like the things I love and I love to see them do their things.
I should mention, I am the stay-at-home-Dad and more often than not my wife has to work but we fly her in when she can even though she is never too happy about those small town airlines.
The exploitation of new places seems to keep the girls going and I sneak in the educational(environmental, engineering, historical,…) side whenever I can. Even if my girls don’t know their learning they are and when I hear them explaining about stuff we’ve explored, stuff that most will never be exposed to, it makes me smile inside. I also find that many of our experiences help in their school work, it puts a reality with the written word.
So this is what keeps /holds us together: “We’re a team and when we stop having fun its time to go home”(we have never gone home early and several times extended our trip).
Things we bring to get us exploring : bug nets, bug cages, and a few bug books(to ID and learn), field glasses, bird books, animal book, animal tracking book, geology books, plant books(I love to find new, to me, flowers), hiking gear, water stuff, kayak, fishing gear, bikes.
Here is a tip: I have always been a big fisherman and love every experience of fishing, catching is only a bonus. But kids have short attention spans if they don’t catch anything in the first 10min you’ll lose them. I find a stocked creek or a lake full of bluegill, locals will know the local lakes and Fish & Game know the stocking schedule(find on web). I mix in the tougher/slower fishing and if you/they catch a big one, they easily transition to real fishing. My girls are hooked and I believe they will take this through the rest of their lives. My youngest caught a 7.4lb Brown on Lake Almanor 2yrs ago and made it in the local paper
We always stop at the visitors centers: kid programs(JuniorRanger) many state parks give badges and a certificate while national gives patches and a certificate(my girls must have 30+; I iron them to a sash for them to display/wear, going to need vests for more space), park tour info, weather info, must see info, the obscure info, wildlife info,….. It gives a start on what we should/could see.
I also look for local museum or outdoor gear store or bait shops, many times these outside sources have given us the best more majestic less crowded places to go. We have found natural water slides, walk behind water falls, hot springs, slot canyons, beaver at work, caves, creeks caves to raft through, beautiful mountain lakes, tide pools….. Maybe the ParkRangers are being told to keep visitors on the more developed trails.
Then there is the dad-bag, with one rule: everything that comes out has to go back in; if you’re not just as excited to put it away don’t take it out. : nice kites, helicopter spiny things, Frisbee, soccer ball, catch games, dance streamers, jump rope, colored chalk, woosh(my childhood favorite), lawn darts, bubbles, horse shoes(more for me), water guns(6+ so the girls can play with new friends), water balloons, water balloon launchers(more for me). I usually stop by the dollar store and get multiple kites, wooden planes, bug nets and bubbles that we don’t mind losing or breaking while playing with new friends.
And Rainy-Day games; games that are more for indoors or slowing down: several picture puzzles, several of those metal ring puzzles you try to pull apart and then back together, several mind games, several dice games, several card games, a couple board games, fun work books, coloring books…
Then there is the snipe hunts, dad’s treasure maps(following directions to find a treasure), star gazing
Another, that has been a hit are the glow sticks that can be made into bracelets or necklaces mainly with new friends. They love to braid together the different colors or they make a ball and play night catch. And it helps me keep an eye on the girls at night.
Then there are the books for night time stories. They started off with finding a book from the visitors center or local store and the newest hits are the short spooky stories or local legions.
So how I/we do it: planning, teamwork, fun, good eats, patients, communication
I try to involve the kids in most aspects of camping starting with the maintenance, to keep the TT and TV going down the road. My youngest wants to do all the mechanical stuff and the oldest will help keep things clean. When they know the work that goes into camping they tend to appreciate it and take care of it. I do this even though the work takes twice as long to get it done when they help.
Letting the girls help with the where and when we go, getting them involved in the research, seams to start the anticipation(regions biology, seasonal climate, historical, sights, local festivals). Looking at the Atlas to plan a rout, looking for good stopping points and other places of interest that are on the way. We try not to go the same way there and back and I usually put a 300ml limit of out of the way places(many of the areas we go to we may not ever get back to). This is a learning experience: time we have, time it takes to get somewhere, how many places we would like to see and then it turns real when we do it. So far we have been able to do one of these big trips each year.
I/we make lists for packing clothes thinking of the environment we’re going in to. I started letting the girls help when they were 3ish and now let them do it, for the most part. Every year they are packing more stuff and we talk about organization and logistics(DS, phone, field glasses, cameras, bikes, kayaks….) but mostly I explain that they’re responsible(more stuff= more work).
Food too, I get the girls to help with the daily menu and then follow it up with all the stuff needed to cook and enjoy the meals. Plus they’re in charge of packing the TV’s snacks-box to get from place to place.
All this involvement really helps keep us working as a team, they know what’s happening and what to expect and this sure makes it easy on me.
BUT, and this is a BIG ONE, I am pretty sure this will not last; my girls will become more independent and probably not want to leave their social network(friends, clubs, sports…) and so this is another reason to do it all now while their still willing to listen to Dad and Mom. These trips/experiences/memories will be with them the rest of their lives.
Sorry, this is a long post but its one I am passionate about.
I chose to have kids and I have an obligation to society to make them the best they can be.
John
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #28
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Youngkupernick....where are the cave tubing and spring pictures from?
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:15 AM   #29
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We learned last year to not always believe mom (daughter) when she says the 3 year old is potty trained. Without going into details, lets just say there was a big dry cleaning bill when we returned home!!
We belong to Western Horizon and the same grandson played at least 38 rounds of putt putt golf on the same trip. He loved it. For little kids I'd say one word--campfire.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:58 AM   #30
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Middle 2 are better backing assistants then DW.
So true it hurts.

I also love the sasquatch idea. That is probably as fun for me as it is for them!
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