How to make group camping a success

If you have a weekend to spare and some family members or friends who are up for an adventure, why not set out on a group camping trip?
Group camping in tent
February 20, 2018 03:31 PM

There are countless ways to keep a group entertained on a camping trip. One of Coleman’s® foremost experts on family camping, Mary Richardson, has a fun way of doing it. She’s a group camper who has helped organize memorable—and impressively large—adventures year-after-year.

Transforming a diverse group into a community of campers
Every Memorial Day weekend, Mary Richardson and about 13—yes, 13—other families pack up and head to the same lake and the same campsite. That’s about where the similarities stop. The families are rather diverse: some are newlyweds; some are retired couples; some are expert campers; others are just getting back to nature. But for three or four days out of the year, they’re their own small community.

Their camp is like a block party. Everyone always has something to do because they all contribute. One person always brings the horseshoes for the annual tournament. Then there’s lawn golf, Frisbees and baseballs flying through the air, swimming and even reading for some.

family hike up the mountain

The secret to group camping
Richardson says the trick to pulling off a successful group camping adventure is letting people take whatever role they’re most comfortable doing. For her, it’s being the mom. She takes pride in having whatever anyone needs, whether that is a skewer, a bandage or even a simple straw. Everyone knows she’s the one who’s always prepared.

You’d think that role would go to the Boy Scout leader of the group, Jim. No, Jim is the cook and nature enthusiast. He takes care of preparing tasty, hot concoctions in his Dutch oven. After dinner, you can usually find him leading the kids on an after-dark nature trail hike. During the day, Jim might have the kids looking for the bugs he still needs to fill the collection board he just so happened to pack.

Family playing cards around picnic table with tent in background

Ready for your own group-camping adventure?
Finding a group like Richardson’s is as easy as asking your friends, family, co-workers and anyone you wouldn’t mind spending a couple days with the following question: “What do you think about camping?” Once you get out there, even if it’s just a few of you, you’ll find your roles and wonder why you hadn’t tried group camping before.


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