Many times when we were camping out, we saw families with children, their kids would start to get bored during camping. To them camping is boring because everything the adults have done for them from setting up a tent to cooking a meal. I did encounter such problems before. My kids started to dislike camping because they have nothing to do. I started to change my camping method, when they were 10 years old, I taught them how to setup their own tent and at times I would let them have a go in cooking a meal. There are many things we can teach our children about outdoor camping such as giving them an understanding to respect wild life. It is also a way to bond the children and the parents.
Today's children are gluing too much time on a computer. They have little or no experience what to do when they are outdoor therefore they dislike camping. Another problem is the parent themselves. I personally witness many times the father would be busy setting up the camp area while the children and his wife would just sit and watch. Sometimes the wife would just yell at him to be quick.
There was a time, I met this family for the third time camping, he had problem setting up a Tarp which he just bought. I decided to go over and give him a hand. To my surprised he had set up the Tarp wrongly so I guided him how to do it. When all was done, I went back to our tent and there I heard his wife was yelling at him. She was commenting how stupid did he become. I really sympathise with this guy. He is trying to have a fun camping trip with his family but it seems that he is camping all by himself. What I am trying to say....if you want an enjoyable camping trip, everyone must play a part and you yourself need to know the basic of camping so you can teach your family and they can help out.
Last Dec 2009 when my son came to Taiwan, I decided to teach him a little more about outdoor life and bushcraft. I chose Kenting as there are options to explore Marine life and the campsite is nothing 5 star. I gave him a pair of wet shoes, sun block and we went to explore the Marine life. He was amazed by the creatures that was around him. In Singapore we do not have such opportunity to learn how to respect life in nature. We happened to find a big crab but I told him to leave it alone and observe what the crab was doing.
In the evening we would have hotpot so everybody is doing the cooking. Hotpot is a good way to gather everyone and we sit together and have a nice meal.
The next day we went back to the water and found the crab we saw it was dead. I told my son to pick up with his hand but he hesitated, somehow he picked it up and brought back to our camp. I decided to teach him a little bushcraft.
Earlier on I had taught him how to make a Soda Can Wood Gas Stove. So I gave him a knife and guided him how to make a skewer and a forked support stick to BBQ the crab.
Family camping can be fun only you know how. In order to know how, go to Youtube and learn some trade like tying a knot, building fire and more. Because it is the only time during camping you can put to a test what you have learnt and passed it on to your children.
During our 120km bike camping trip from Kaohsiung to Kenting. He made an axe and showed me, it is not the best but he used the roots as a twine. Teaching children bushcraft can be very creative and it allows them to explore their inner self.