TOP TIPS FOR CAMPING WITH TEENAGERS
Dragging teenagers away from their screens for some time with the family can be challenging. Particularly, when that time is away from their friends and miles away from civilisation. You want to share the beauty of the Australian countryside with your teenage son or daughter, and all they want to do is immerse their face in the welcoming glow of their phone screen. It can create the perfect conditions for arguments and drama. So how do you show your teens that camping is all about strengthening family bonds and enjoying time away from tablets, mobiles and laptops?
With teens, the location is important. If you like fishing, choose a site with a beach area so the teens have something to do as well. Try and find a campsite with good communal areas where they might meet other teens. Compromising so that everyone in the family can get something from the location will make for a much less stressful trip.
THE CAMP SITE
Once you arrive you need to set up camp. If you are camping with teens, it is even more essential to make the camping area a comfortable and pleasant place to be. Bring a marquee or awning to create a community area which is protected from the elements (and preferably mosquitos). Hang lights from trees to create a nice environment. Bring a speaker for music. Set up a hammock to relax in. Teenagers often associate camping with discomfort, showing them that camping can be comfortable could win them round.
MAKE A CAMPFIRE
The warmth and light of a campfire are mesmerising and enchanting. The time spent roasting marshmallows or just relaxing in the evening around the campfire can ignite conversation and entice more than one-word answers out of your son or daughter.
Enjoying some sweeter treats and junk food that you wouldn’t normally eat at home can help get the whole family into holiday mode. Getting the whole family involved with the cooking process is also a good idea to help the children and teenagers feel involved and valued at the camp site.
Teenagers tend to become bored easily so keep them busy with daily activates. Hiking, swimming, fishing and canoeing are great ways to fill days. Bring some board games for the evenings and rainy days. If you brought a marquee or tent for a community area you can leave the board games set up there, especially if they are marathon length games like monopoly or Risk. That way you can capitalise on midday showers by jumping straight back into a board game before your teenagers have time to complain about boredom or not being connected to their friends on Instagram.
SET GUIDELINES BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
If you expect your teens to unplug from their electronic devices, set limits before you arrive at camp. If you set rules for screen time, make sure you abide by them too. Make sure there isn’t one rule for them and another for you. If there are screen bans across camp and you want to upload a photo of your catch for Instagram, you have to lift the ban for them as well.
What else can you add to this article, do you have any experience that can help others? Share your thoughts with us through the comments section below.