Want to build memories with those who matter most? Consider a family campout! There’s just something extra bonding about spending a few days unplugged in the fresh air, sunshine, and wildlife—away from city stress and every day distractions. Over the years, our family camp has grown to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and our years of experience has taught us a trick or two:

1- Pick the Spot: Choose a campsite that has enough space for everyone coming. And don’t forget communal spaces! You’ll want to have plenty of room for meals, game playing, and evening activities as a large group. Having enough table space is crucial to a good time, so make sure to find a campsite with sufficient picnic tables (or plan on bringing your own)!

Camp Spot

2- Choose the Dates: If possible, choose the same weekend each year. Our family campout is always over the 24th of July, and because that date is always consistent, the entire family can just plan on it—without endless calendar checking!

Pick your date

3- Plan Group Activities: Have at least one fun thing to do each day as an entire group, but also allow time for individual families to be on their own. Some of our favorite activities include: skit nights, “Minute to Win It” games, cooking s’mores and getting all the kids in their pajamas and singing around the campfire, and telling legendary family stories (that grow taller every year)!

smores.jpg

4- Delegate Responsibilities: It can be overwhelming to plan a big campout, so make sure to share the load! If multiple family units are coming, each can be responsible for their own meals. Or each family could take a turn and cook/cleanup for the whole group! A chore list of delegated responsibilities allows everyone a turn to rotate through work and play.

cleanup

5- Expect Problems: Let’s face it—nothing goes completely as planned, and sometimes we have a full-blown fiasco on our hands. Just remember, it’s usually the times that go wrong that go down in history as the very best family stories! (“Remember the time when all of the tents collapsed in the wind?”) It’s important to include a good sense of humor and perspective on your packing list!

The years go by so fast. Children grow up. Parents grow old. Opportunities of today may not be there tomorrow. You’ll want to cherish important moments with your loved ones forever! So whether or not you head for the hills, make sure to create fun family memories every chance you get.