Have a Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a fun way for kids to explore the campsite and surrounding area -- and maybe even learn a few nature facts along the way. Before sending them off with their lists, though, make sure you give the kids a few ground rules. Be specific about the boundaries of the hunt. Will you limit it to just the campsite? Or a certain hiking trail? Institute a buddy system so that nobody goes off alone or gets lost. For extra safety, give every team a whistle or a cell phone for emergencies.
Here are some fun ideas for things to look for during a camping scavenger hunt:
- Pine cone
- Bird feather
- Maple leaf
- Smooth rock
- Cup of water from a stream
Remember -- never put anything on the list that shouldn't be moved. For example, a bird's nest shouldn't be on the list. If you have the means, you can also do a photo scavenger hunt with cell phone cameras. Each team can take a picture of a team member next to their item. That way, you can have kids look for things like animal footprints or even -- yuck alert -- deer poop!