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campingI realize that all children love theme parks because of the characters, the rides, the hype.  And that’s all great and fine. Trust me, I’m not against theme parks, in fact, I enjoy them on a limited scale!

But let me ask you, what are some of your most memorable vacations as a child?  If you were fortunate enough to have parents that took you camping, I would bet that those memories are at the top of the list.  Of course, times were different when I was a child, we didn’t take elaborate vacations and I don’t remember any of my friends that did either.

My parents did take us to the Lake of the Ozarks though.  Standing on the dock and catching little perch with my sister is one of my fondest memories.  We put them in a bucket of water and then released them all at the end of the day.  We were never afraid to get ooey-gooey worm guts stuff on our hands as we baited our hooks with them!  I know, we’re worm murderers!

One of my adult children’s most talked about memories is when we took them camping as kids to a place called Onion Valley in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  When we arrived the friendly park ranger filled us in on the active bear population in the area.  Our daughter and her friend decided right then and there they were sleeping in our van with the doors locked!  That night, soon after the rest of us were snuggled into our sleeping bags we became aware of what was obvious bear sounds close by.  We could hear it grunting and shuffling by.  All I could do was lay there in silent terror and pray it didn’t decide to check out the inside of the tent!


Bears aside, camping in the great outdoors holds lots of benefits for children and families.  I now love to take camping trips with my children and grandchildren.  For me, it really beats standing in a long line in the heat for 45 minutes or longer waiting to ride a ride that might last all of 5 minutes.

Seven benefits, and there are many more, of camping include:

1.  Health benefits; your days are spent in the outdoors breathing in fresh air and soaking up the sunshine and along with it Vit D, which many of us are lacking.

2.  The great outdoors decreases your stress and elevates your mood!  The stress of the city falls away as you drive deeper into the forest, nearer the lake or higher in the mountains.

3.  Camping helps to build family relationships.  Theme parks aren’t relaxing and don’t include spending much time in situations that are conducive to talking and sharing as a family, but camping usually does. Whether it’s sitting and fishing together, taking a hike together, paddling around in a kayak or canoe together or sitting around the campfire, you’ll find the chatter will flow.  Maybe a ghost story or two will ensue!

4. From the littlest of creatures to the mightiest of trees, you can use this time to create an appreciation for nature and the world we live in.

5.  Financially speaking, a camping trip will be much easier on your wallet than one of the big theme parks.

6.  Offers new challenges.  Showers, cooking, sleeping, personal hygiene – no shower down the hall, or oven in the kitchen; all of these things are done differently when out in nature and create new challenges.

7.  Camping gets you up and moving whether it’s swimming, hiking or maybe a scavenger hunt!  Depending on where you go, taking your bicycles along might be appropriate.  We have kayaks and a paddle boat we like to take if we’re camping at a lake.

Great printable Scavenger Hunts to add fun to your next family camping trip! #camping #outdoors #outdoorfun Click To Tweet

To help get your little ones engaged, I’ve created two scavenger hunt printables for different age groups.

The first one is for younger children and they can circle each item as they find it. The second one is more challenging and requires finding an answer to the question and writing it in.  Click and download your scavenger hunts here:

Scavenger Hunt Young

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Scavenger Hunt Older (1)

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Scavenger Hunt Older (1)”]


There are lots of other fun things you can do while camping.  Some of these are:

  • Go on a photo safari.  Give each child a list of things they are to find and take pictures of.
  • Find and identify animal tracks.
  • Catch fireflies.
  • Collect items from nature, such as leaves, pine cones, flowers, etc.
  • Count how many different bird species you see.
  • Collect firewood together.
  • Every camping trip must include making smores around the campfire!

Tell me, do your summer plans include a camping trip or theme park vacation or both?

Thank you so much for reading!




P.S. Check out my Facebook page, where I am giving these lanterns away for Win-It-Wednesday!

This post will be shared with the lovely link parties found on my “Where I Party” page!

Angela Williams July 26, 2017, 9:53 am

Love the idea of a camping adventure with my family because staying “unplugged” and communicating is very important. Plus, we can make lots of family memories on a camping trip!

Jeanine Jones July 26, 2017, 10:06 am

My hubs and I go camping a lot so this would be awesome!

Lisa Shepherd July 26, 2017, 10:18 am

We go camping at Lake Rudolph Camp ground and RV Resort and it just so happens that Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari is right next door, so we always go to the water park 1 day! We are planning 1 more trip before school starts up now!

Chasta howes July 26, 2017, 10:28 am

My family went to a theme park this summer but hope to go camping in august or September when it’s not so humid.

Rachel R July 26, 2017, 10:31 am

A couple of years ago we rented an RV at a campsite and had SO much fun! We still enjoyed certain comforts, which was great since we have such little kids, but spent so much quality time outdoors. I can’t wait to go tent camping with our kids as they get older!

Christa Lopez July 26, 2017, 10:48 am

We love camping! It’s a fun way to have family time together!

Barbara Riffe July 26, 2017, 10:57 am

I love to take the kids camping, they never want to go home and I agree. Usually we go as a big group. This year we have added geo caching to our list of things to do. The kids are happy just throwing rocks in the river.Thank you for awesome giveaway.

Vicky D July 26, 2017, 11:24 am

We love camping. Went a couple of weeks ago for my birthday with the grandkids. Had a blast painting rocks and leaving them at different campsites.

Letty Buentello July 26, 2017, 11:45 am

Wow… We just came back from a theme park and it was my daughter’s 1st time. I had not been to a theme park in a very long time. Your story is very true about waiting in long lines and not much interaction with each other. It was not a relaxing vacation. My daughter likes for us to put a fire in our fire pit and make Smores. She loves fireflies and loved looking at the stars. I think next vacation we take will be camping. I’ve never camped but sounds like a great way to make memories. As a kid just going on a road trip to visits family was what I remember the most. Thank you.

Jessica Z July 26, 2017, 12:56 pm

We’ve never taken the kids camping but would love to!

Alicia Chila-Foster July 26, 2017, 2:28 pm

My most memorable vacations as a child were camping in a tent or log cabin. It was a blast exploring, going swimming, canoeing and roasting marshmallows! We are planning a weekend camp out with my 3 and 4 year old adventurers! Thank you for the opportunity 🙏🙏😊😊😊

Jennifer R. July 26, 2017, 5:22 pm

I would absolutely love to go camping. Theme parks are not my cup of tea since I dislike crowds, noise, and trash strewn everywhere. I think my kids would enjoy it as the closest experience they’ve had to this has been at the ranch. Limited electronics and roughing it is something we all need.

Autumn D July 26, 2017, 5:36 pm

I love the scavenger hunt print outs! I have a 4 and 8 year old so I love that there are 2 options. We are going camping in 3 weeks.

Teresa July 26, 2017, 8:37 pm

Thank you so much Autumn!

Connie Lee July 26, 2017, 5:52 pm

Camping sounds like fun. I’m sure the families that go create a ton of memories. My husband and I are the only ones at home now and no grandchildren, so just vacationing in the backyard is good for us, lol!

Beth steese July 26, 2017, 7:37 pm

My family camps almost every other weekend and when we can for a week at a time…some times it’s a tent and sometimes we take the camper…my kids love it ! Nothing better…we have never taken a big vacation with them…I am not sure we would want to change our camping trips !

Jerry Marquardt July 26, 2017, 9:34 pm

Me and my whole family are destined to go camping over the weekend, so this article with the great tips and pointers is just on time. I thank you so much for helping us out.

Beth Mason July 26, 2017, 11:01 pm

We used to go camping a lot every summer for years. I haven’t been in a few years and I miss it. I would love to go and take my grandkids. I know they would love it!

Jeri Eroh July 27, 2017, 12:14 am

We went camping all of the time when I was younger…lots of great memories! Now that my kids are finally old enough to enjoy it, my husband and I want to take them camping, too. I know they will love it! 🙂

Catrina Barker July 27, 2017, 10:33 am

Camping is so much more memorable than most mini vacations or weekend getaways. It’s spending time with family and being out of touch with technology so your family can bond together and enjoy each other’s company. We love being out in nature and fishing, cooking over the fire, hiking, teaching the kids basic survival skills while out camping.

Emily July 27, 2017, 10:38 am

We loved to go camping when I was younger. I can’t wait to start taking my son camping when he is older.

Donna July 27, 2017, 10:50 am

Some of my best memories were going camping with my grandfather!

Nicole J July 27, 2017, 10:53 am

We took our boys camping in the Colorado Rocky Mountains this year. Good memories were made 🙂

Dia C. July 27, 2017, 11:27 am

Awesome! We love to go camping by the river!

Kim Naumann July 27, 2017, 12:20 pm

We do Scavenger hunts a lot but doing one at night would be a fun way to twist it up!

Linda Barnett July 27, 2017, 1:05 pm

Love these lanterns for camping and for power failures at home.

Mandy hammons July 27, 2017, 1:24 pm

I love the scavenger hunt idea! I think having time to unplug and do some activities together as a family is very important.

Crystal July 27, 2017, 2:40 pm

I love that people are getting back to basics and reconnecting through camping… love this lantern!!

Charlotte Mathews July 27, 2017, 10:57 pm

My family has been camping for several years now and love it.

Carol ("Mimi") August 1, 2017, 7:38 pm

We love camping, and we took our children camping when they were growing up. I agree that it’s healthy and helps to make family memories. Thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’m sharing your link on social media.
Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

Teresa August 1, 2017, 11:23 pm

Thank you, Carol! And do you find that those are some of your children’s best memories?

Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond August 1, 2017, 9:03 pm

I’ve never been a camper Teresa but I do agree it is much better to be outdoors with the grandchildren and enjoy nature. Thank you for the reminder and sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. Have a beautiful day x

Teresa August 1, 2017, 11:20 pm

I think I especially love the nights around the campfire and the smores that usually go along with it!

Clearissa Coward August 1, 2017, 9:04 pm

I have never been a camping kind of girl but you made it sound fun. Thanks for sharing with us at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’ve shared on social media.

Teresa August 1, 2017, 11:18 pm

Thank you Clearissa! I’ve always enjoyed camping, but we never seem to be able to get there as often as I would like.

Anonymous August 1, 2017, 10:09 pm

Great points! Our family went camping for the very first time last month.

Teresa August 1, 2017, 11:15 pm

I hope you enjoyed your first camping trip!

Grammy Dee August 3, 2017, 5:41 pm

All great reasons to go camping…although I’m too afraid to camp in a tent, I’m afraid of wildlife attacking us. Thank you Teresa for linking up and co-hosting with me at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared your post on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Ok, I’m on my way over to your giveaway 🙂

Teresa August 5, 2017, 9:52 am

I was terrified years ago when we could hear the bear shuffling by and grunting! For now, we still camp in a tent, but Paul and I are planning to buy a fifth wheel to do lots of traveling in when he retires. Hopefully next summer! I really appreciate you Dee and all you do to bring other bloggers together.

Joe August 15, 2017, 3:06 pm

I love camping. I try to go every summer but it gets really hard with the kids, because they’re not into it. Maybe next year.

Graham September 11, 2017, 2:00 pm

Number 5 is my biggest reason for cmaping/outdoor activities. Just take a step back and try to notice how many things are being sold to you, like constantly. And I’m not just talking about advertisements. How many times have you heard “Oh, you NEED to travel abroad, get some culture!” or “Come out and get some drinks with us, it’s the weekend!” or “Have you seen (Insert New Movie Name Here) yet? WHY NOT?!?!” – These are all societal pressures built by their respective industries to pressure you into spending money. Now, of course you shouldn’t forgo ALL of the pleasures life has to offer, but at the same time if you give into all of them you’ll end up broke like waaaaay too many people out there. Camping is a great way to keep those costs down while still having an amazing time!


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