For those who really want to instill a love of camping in their children, one of the best ways is to get them involved in every phase of the adventure. We often focus on the fun we plan for them to have and may neglect getting them involved in the work involved before, after, and during that camping trip.
Kids like to be part of things so allowing them to help with packing, or giving them responsibilities to be in charge of at the campsite, will help them to feel more like it’s a team effort and that they are part of the team.
Depending on their age, you can get them involved in making a checklist, packing items for the trip, unpacking once you arrive, and helping to maintain order while you are camping. Even the smallest of them can contribute ideas to what should be packed and suggesting what container the items should be sorted into.
They can be assigned to meal preparation, litter pickup, making beds, and choosing games to play on rainy days. Older kids can be put in charge of smaller kids or they can be tasked with stacking the firewood and walking the family pet.
Being involved this way can make them feel a broader sense of what family camping is all about. They can feel good about their contribution to the trip and will learn the real ins and outs of camping.
As the years go by, the older kids can help teach the younger kids. Eventually, they can grow into adults who love camping and have a real understanding of the rewards that come with the work that is involved.