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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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Old 03-05-2013, 09:18 AM   #31
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Youngkupernick....where are the cave tubing and spring pictures from?
In Ca., Natural Bridges off Parrots Ferry Rd. I believe it is in Calaveras County its about 10ml West of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. There is a sign but you have to look/watch for it, no real parking just the side of a small road. The trail down is good, probably just less than a mile but its all down hill so the hike back is slower. There are two floatable caves in the same area, we haven't done the second yet. It gives us a reason to get back up there.
When I was younger I did one out side of Cancun Mexico, it was longer but not as nice, it was more jungle-ish. I believe it was called a cinote.
We were just over on your side of the country(Fl) and played with the manitee in the Crystal Springs area. The kids really loved that. We spent 3 weeks in Fl. and tried to do it all: Everglades, air boats, NASA, Winter the tailless dolphin, Discovery Cove, a few state parks and Disney(spent a week).
John
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:13 PM   #32
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Youngkopernik, that was an awesome write up! I'm envious you get to spend so much time with your girls. Love the pics! Have you thought of coming to the rally on Goshen? I really like where this thread is going and I hope more will chime in. This last year, I decided to stop buying Christmas and birthday gifts for my oldest kids (the little one still gets them) and instead I've decided that we will make memories. The were all on board with this! We've traveled, cruised, and just hung out at home without any outside contact! It has been great! My kids have not wanted for anything,(ok, within reason (: ) and the fact of buying them gifts just because of an occasion seemed senseless. Another reason why we got back into camping.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:13 PM   #33
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This last year, I decided to stop buying Christmas and birthday gifts for my oldest kids (the little one still gets them) and instead I've decided that we will make memories. The were all on board with this! We've traveled, cruised, and just hung out at home without any outside contact! It has been great!
I thought I was the only one who wanted to ditch Christmas gifts. Hats off to you for doing it. Dont get me wrong I like Christmas I just have a hard time maneuvering thru the loaded powder keg that is gift giving. Let me say good job to you for doing that and investing in relationships.

Tips and tricks to camping with kids....hmmmm. I've learned that everyone has their own way of camping and most of us are really flattered when others emulate us. I think deep down when someone does it just like us (especially our kids) we kinda feel validated for who we are as people. When they choose another path and interests...it kinda hurts or at least feels like rejection on some level. I'm a lot like my father and yet my son..well..he's got his own set of interests for sure and camping is not one of them.

I am new to this forum..and not new to camping. In fact, I was almost born in a camper. My first time camping I was six weeks old and I have been out camping ever since. Being fairly new to this forum I can honestly say I feel like the kid who shows up to the math club with a pen and pencil rather than a big 'ol calculator.

It's been interesting to read about others and their style of camping. So many people here with their big rigs and massive trailers. I'm concerned the jump up to my new camper will be a distraction rather than enhance my camping experience. I can't imagine camping the way so many of you do it. Yet reading the stories of others here I recognize the elation and feelings that come over me in my own experience are shared by us all. I guess thats the beauty of the human experience. We dont have to all do it the same way and yet doing something in a vastly different manner can produce similar results.

I am chasing memories. I guess thats what it comes down to. Memories of places far away...smells that still linger inside my nostrils...and sounds that still echo in my ears. The sound of wind rushing thru pine trees. Thats what I find myself in the pursuit of the most. I pursure and I bring my family with me.

When I take my family out we unplug. We take a break from technology and give it a rest for awhile. Turn off the gadgets...forget about the TV..stop playing games and give our eyes a rest from anything that has a screen. We do this mostly weekends and also on the annual big trip out west.

People boast of having hundreds of facebook friends yet I have found it amazingly difficult to connect intimately with those handful of people I live with day to day. Camping has been one of the best means to accomplish that. It's a great way to elminate that outside contact if only for a brief while and "connect" with each other. Connect while sawing and splitting firewood. Connect while cooking over a fire. Connect while doing dishes. Connect while exploring. Connect while travelling. Connect with that natural world that seems so unwilling to let go of winter at this point! I guess its all about connection and camping has helped me achieve some of that and for that I am grateful.

Tips and tricks to camping with kids....hmmmm. Not sure I have any advice on that but to say get out and camp and let go of those things that keep you from connecting with them. We all know the story of the kid who got a toy and rather enjoyed playiing with the box instead. At my core I kinda believe in the box.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:31 AM   #34
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“I chose to have kids and I have an obligation to society to make them the best they can be.
Props to you on this comment! I wish more people in this world felt this way.

My wife and I have been trying for a few years to start a family with no success and it is threads like this that make me desire a family even more. As an adult I can still tell you stories about us camping as children like it was yesterday! The memories you are making with them now will surely last a lifetime. Kudos to all of you!
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #35
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Lots of great ideas!

Our kids are 7, 9, and 10. We started camping with them about 3 years ago.

LOVE the idea of the projector for movies so other kids can join in!

Our trips are typically planned around our kids, so our daily adventures will involve kayaking or tubing or swimming or a combination of that. But we all need to unwind.

- We have a tv/dvd player for late nights when they want to decompress as we sit outside by the fire.

- RAINY DAY GAMES. A must.

- Arts and crafts ALWAYS on hand. Paper, crayons, yarn, etc.

- Kid friendly, interactive camping desserts are always a hit. S'mores, banana boats, or just plain roasting a big fat marshmallow.

- I always have on hand some type of adventure, just in case. A scavenger hunt list, word puzzle, etc. Something they can do as a group or individually if they get the itch.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:34 PM   #36
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Lots of great ideas!

Our kids are 7, 9, and 10. We started camping with them about 3 years ago.

LOVE the idea of the projector for movies so other kids can join in!

Our trips are typically planned around our kids, so our daily adventures will involve kayaking or tubing or swimming or a combination of that. But we all need to unwind.

- We have a tv/dvd player for late nights when they want to decompress as we sit outside by the fire.

- RAINY DAY GAMES. A must.

- Arts and crafts ALWAYS on hand. Paper, crayons, yarn, etc.

- Kid friendly, interactive camping desserts are always a hit. S'mores, banana boats, or just plain roasting a big fat marshmallow.

- I always have on hand some type of adventure, just in case. A scavenger hunt list, word puzzle, etc. Something they can do as a group or individually if they get the itch.
Sounds familiar
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:55 PM   #37
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One thing I did on our 365saq fold down bunk, was add support legs. I've since redesigned the legs and added a dry erase board to the bottom of the bunk, along with a paper clip, so that when the bunk is folded up, it becomes an art easel. When the weather warms up I'll get some pictures.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:21 PM   #38
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One thing I did on our 365saq fold down bunk, was add support legs. I've since redesigned the legs and added a dry erase board to the bottom of the bunk, along with a paper clip, so that when the bunk is folded up, it becomes an art easel. When the weather warms up I'll get some pictures.
Great idea on the dry erase board! Going to have to do this one.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:28 PM   #39
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As I am in the process of cleaning out my current camper I have come up with some things I completely forgot about and thought I would mention them.

Water balloons and a water balloon filler, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, board games, walkie talkies (which are always a hit and useful for when you communicate with them at long distances), outdoor games, soccer balls, buckets for sand (been to some playgrounds with sand fill) lots of flshlights for flashlight tag........the list is endless and my basement is now full for the moment.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #40
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Since we are heading to the beach in a couple weeks, I have a canvas bag full of sand castle tools and a couple buckets. We also have the water balloons and launchers. Our house during the summer is a war zone with the neighbors. I usually have the advantage of having half the teenagers in town at my house, though. We also have the little remote control helicopters that anyone can fly. Lots of fun.
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