Getting ready to head home may not be as much fun as getting ready to go, but it is an important part of the camping experience. Getting the kids to pitch in helps keep them busy, and teaches them how to be responsible campers.
Here are four ways they can help:
- Get their help deflating the sleeping pads (although rolling them up tightly and wiggling them into their stuffed sacks can be a challenge for tiny hands).
- Have them pull the poles out of the tent and help collapse the tent.
- Enlist their help putting the fire out (just make sure they stir the ashes and coals to make sure it’s out for good).
- When the campsite is getting close to being packed up, make it a contest to see who can pick up the littlest bits of trash. After all, many small hands make light work. The kids can also be in charge of carrying the trash bag to the dumpster (or getting it to the car if there isn’t one). Point out that disposing of the trash is important not only because it’s considerate of the next campers, but because it’s essential for the animals’ safety. Kids should learn the camper’s credo that you always leave your site at least as clean as you found it.