Unlike a picnic or party, camping can provide an extended opportunity for your family to bond. It’s also a chance for everyone from great-grandparents to young children to work together to make the great outdoors a temporary home. If your family is scattered around the country, planning a camping trip that accommodate everyone’s schedule and travel needs can be tricky. Plus, you want to make the event as stress-free as possible so that even the most nature-averse cousin can still have a great time.
Here are just a few tips for planning a family reunion camping trip. Who knows? You might just have a new tradition on your hands.
Planning a camping trip for your entire family is going to take time. Even if you have just a small group, finding a clear weekend that accommodates everyone’s schedule might be difficult, but the further in advance you start thinking about it, the more flexibility you’ll have. If your family has a yearly reunion, it’s best to start the discussion a whole year in advance. This can also give everyone the opportunity to discuss the idea in person, and to work out some of the logistics with everyone present. If your reunion is always on the same weekend, then you might already have the perfect date, but adding a few additional days might require some adjustment.
Keep the Lines of Communications Open
Prior to the camping trip, you’ll need to share a lot of important information with your family about the upcoming trip. Set up an email or Facebook group so that you can quickly disperse updates. Designate a few tech-savvy family members to share the information with anyone who doesn’t keep an eye on the latest social media. This is a huge help when you need to get a consensus opinion quickly or share a to-do list.
Pick the Right Location
If you want to make sure your reunion camping trip is well attended, you’ll want to choose a camping spot that is convenient for everyone. Try to find a spot that is equally close to everyone. The great thing about camping in the United States is that you can find a great spot just about anywhere, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a scenic site within a few hours drive of everyone. Try to find a campground with a variety of amenities and activities on site. Or it may be better to rent a cabin surrounded by a big outdoor space. That way the older generation has a place to sleep indoors and everyone else can camp outside, yet still have access to a bathroom and kitchen space.
Cater to the Non-Outdoorsman
Not everyone is a camping pro, so make sure they know exactly what to bring along for the trip. Provide a “shopping list” at least a month in advance. Include links for affordable tents, supplies, and a rugged pair of boots that can survive all of the activities you have planned. And when the family arrives on day one, have a plan ready to go with a to-do list for setting up the campsite and plenty of activities on the agenda.