While many campsites now offer electricity for the benefit of users, it’s unlikely that campers will be spending their time watching television or playing video games like they may do at home. Instead of listening to the inevitable “I’m bored,” children and young adults can be motivated to enjoy nature through the excitement of outdoor activities. Many state parks and campgrounds offer a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, or campers can create their own fun.

According to Shando Varda in 101 Family Vacation Games: Have Fun While Traveling, Camping or Celebrating at Home (Hunter House, 2005), games are an important element of the camping experience. “Through play, a child learns about trust, boundaries, taking turns, what hurts, what feels good, how to express their opinions, how to listen to others, and above all they learn that when they stick to their agreement about the rules of the game, they receive the wonderful reward of fun and laughter.”

Activities Offered at Some Campgrounds

The Web sites and brochures of individual campgrounds almost always include a list of activities that are available to campers. These activities can include:

Water activities – Almost any campground on a body of water will offer swimming, boating (some facilities even offer canoes or kayaks to rent), scuba diving, snorkling, fishing or tubing.

Hiking and nature trails – While the idea of just walking around may be unappealing to small hikers, many campsites offer a list of animals or plants that could be found on the site, or adults could write up one of their own. A scavenger hunt to find the plants and animals on the list may be more enticing.

Events, museums or exhibits – State and national parks often have an exhibit that campers can visit to learn more about the area or the creatures that live within the park’s boundaries. Some of these special activities can be included in the fee required for camping or may cost extra.