“Camping with Teenagers: Is there WIFI?”
Ah yes, the first question my teenage sons ask when we suggest or venture to a new campground, “Is there WIFI?”
Gone are the days when our sons would hop in the car without questioning where we were camping and what there was to do there.
When our children were young, camping was fairly simple. We ensured the car was packed with lots of snacks and activities to combat boredom and fighting. We carefully chose campgrounds that had all the amenities for young children such as beaches and playgrounds. Overall, everyone was happy and for the most part, easily entertained. Camping with teenagers, can be much more challenging.
It can be tough to pull teenagers away from WIFI, friends and video games.
So how do we do it?
Prior to the camping season, we research different campgrounds and put together a list of previous sites we have stayed. As a family, we decide which campsites to book.
2. Travel with family friends
Gone are the days when our sons would play at the beach or playground with anyone who happened to be there. Our teenagers are much happier when camping with friends. Although we still plan one or two trips a year with just our family, we tend to book the rest with families whose children are similar ages.
3. Location and activities are key
All of our camping friends with teenagers agree, camping for a week with a main focus on beachcombing and sand castles, does not cut it anymore. The campgrounds we choose have a variety of different activities such as paddle boarding, canoeing, basketball hoops and fishing holes. Although we do stay at some campgrounds year after year, we always find new ones to explore for a brand new experience.
4. Independence and downtime
For years, I was guilty of scheduling our holiday to make sure we made use of every minute of our trip. When they were young, everyone just went along with my plan however that does not work anymore. Now, I usually plan a main activity in the mid-morning (not too early!) such as a hike or kayak on the lake, then everyone has downtime to relax, read a book, take a nap or take the paddle board down to the water.
By the end of each camping trip, the teenagers have survived without WIFI and they tuck away their memories from another trip.
At the end of last camping season, I thought to myself how camping with teenagers has its challenges yet has many more benefits. They assist with setting up the trailer and site, are very independent (I don’t have to accompany them on every bike ride or trip down to the lake) and offer great campfire discussions.
For places to camp in British Columbia check out the Camping Map.
Share your BC travel and camping photos using hashtag #campinbc
Published: February 14th, 2019
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