If kids were in charge and writing an RV blog about camping what would their advice be? The other day I was wondering what kinds of camping tips kids would give. So, I asked our kids about it and what follows are their top tips, along with my explanation and commentary.
Tell your parents where you are going
Yep, that one came from our oldest daughter. Often when we get to a campground the kids are just like us. Ready to get out of the truck and get some exercise after riding all day. It can be easy for them to run off and for us to lose track of them while we are sitting up the RV. One thing we have done is have the kids remain in the vehicle until we get the fifth wheel situated on the site and unhooked. That way we don’t have to worry about them getting caught in a blind spot while backing up the truck or fifth wheel. Once we have the fifth wheel situated and unhooked everyone can get out of the truck and help with getting the rest of our camp set up.
No touching other people’s campers and cars
Our youngest already knows to be respectful of other people’s things, especially when it comes to other people’s RVs and vehicles.
Respect other people
Along with respecting other people’s campers and cars, our oldest wanted to make sure that kids know to respect other people. Sometimes we adults need gentle reminding from our kids on things that really matter in life.
Empty your sewer in the sewer pipe
Our middle child wanted to give his input and wanted to make sure everyone knew the importance of properly emptying their black tanks. If anyone needs further instruction and you see us at the campground feel free to ask our middle child how to hook up and empty your black and gray tanks. He will be glad to help.
No littering and help pick up trash
Again, our youngest is quick to remind us about what so many people easily forget, especially when they are breaking camp after their camping trip. It only takes a couple extra minutes to walk your campsite and pick up any little pieces of trash that might have gotten away during your camping trip.
Don’t touch anyone else’s dog unless you ask
We always talk to our kids about not petting other people’s dogs unless we talk to the person first and ask if it’s okay. Especially if we have never seen this dog or person before. You just don’t know how the dog will react. Some dogs just don’t like kids. Especially when you have three relatively young kids who are full of energy. Other dogs love kids and thrive on the energy. It is always best to ask before touching a strange or new dog.
Don’t let your dog go out without a leash
Our youngest loves dogs, but let’s be honest, no one likes being chased around the campground by a dog they don’t know. It’s also going to be a violation of the campground rules, most likely.
Most campgrounds have fun things for the whole family to do. Maybe a playground or pool. Some have nature trails and hiking. A few campgrounds have had community rooms with games and books. The point is get out there, explore and have fun. You may have traveled all day or several days. So, just have some fun, which leads to our next tip from our middle child.
Explore the campground
While having fun make a point to explore the campground and see what fun things there are to do. Make a game of finding the playground, pool, or community center. It keeps the kids engaged in exploring and makes it fun for them.
If you want to make friends take the time to talk to them
Again, our oldest has some pretty simple advice that everyone can use. We adults often are narrowly focused on ourselves and making sure we get our things done. If you are camping take time to introduce yourself to your neighbors and get to know them a little bit. You never know what new friends you may make.
Know where the playground, sandbox and pool are
The kids all agreed one of the first things you need to know is the location of the playground, sandbox, pool, and other fun things for kids to enjoy. At one of our last campgrounds in Tennessee, our camp site was directly across from a play area for the kids. While we were sitting up camp the kids were able to go to the playground. After riding all day this was a great opportunity for them to run around and get some energy out. Every time we pull into a campground for the first time the kids are all looking to find the pool and all the other fun things to do.
If you are walking your dog, make sure you pick up his poop
Our youngest was very specific about this tip and wanted to make sure that all the pet owners were watching their dog to make sure they picked up after their dog.
If you have a campfire, make sure you have S’mores
Every time we even think about having a campfire the kids are asking if we can make S’mores. Making S’mores seems like an American tradition and its hard to have a campfire and not think about making this delicious gooey snack. As I was writing this, I started thinking what an opportunity to get to know your campground neighbors. If possible, take time to invite your neighbors over and get to know them over a delicious gooey S’more. S’mores are also a great opportunity for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company.
Snacks always help
When camping everyone is in and out of the RV and always hungry. One of the things we have found that works well is for everyone to have their own bag or plastic bin for snacks. That way they are free to pick whatever snack they want, if it is from their bag or bin.
If you are riding your bike watch out for snakes
Okay, so maybe there are other things to watch out for when riding your bike besides just snakes. But, depending on the time of year and where you are riding your bike snakes could be a problem. Last Year we were riding our bikes in a park in Charleston, South Carolina, when we saw a man standing in the trail ahead of us. As we got closer it was evident, he was watching a snake in the middle of the trail. The snake was a very large and poisonous copperhead snake. Fortunately for us the snake got tired of being in the trail and slithered off into the woods. So, be sure and watch out for the snakes when riding your bike.
Keep the fire in the firepit
Parents pay attention to this one. Our middle child likes to explore his world around him and that includes digging in the firepit if left unattended.
Watch out for cars when riding your bike
Look quickly. You might miss our middle child zooming by on his bicycle. Kids you must watch out for those cars and RVs in the campground. As large and long as some RVs are it is easy for the driver to not see you and have no idea you are behind them. An easy rule to remember for both drivers of RVs and everyone else is that if you can’t see the driver of the RV in the side mirror, they can’t see you either.
Help your parent’s setup the camper
All right kids please make sure you help your parents with setting up camp. RVs are getting more and more high tech. We can control all most everything on our RV from our phone. So, parents instead of calling the dealer or manufacture when you forget how to control something on your RV it is very likely that your kid can figure it out. You might consider just giving them your phone and watch them help you out of a jam.
Make sure when you are having fun you say “yay.”
What more can I say about this advice offered by our youngest. Always full of energy, she is sure to let you know when she is having fun.
Make sure you look for Deer
We have stayed in several campgrounds that have abundant wildlife. One of our favorite things is to look for and count the deer we see on the way into the campground.
There you have it. Our kid’s top campground tips for kids from kids. Our kids have been living with us fulltime in the RV over the last two years. They have had a chance to learn a lot about campgrounds while traveling and staying in different campgrounds. So, who better to offer advice for kids new to camping than those who have some experiences to share? Looking at the tips they offered I can think of specific times while camping where these tips have been practiced and I know we have had special family times as a direct result of many of these tips. Thanks for reading.