Perhaps the best thing about camping with your children is the ability to reconnect, especially if you insist on a digital sabbatical. Rather than (OMG) texting their pals or mastering the next level on a Nintendo DS game, have them stow the electronics. Don't expect older children to embrace this idea with smiling faces and chipper attitudes -- or to understand why it's so important. Instead, fill their days with hands-on activities that offer a chance to work together. Busy hands often prompt the best conversations, so be ready to listen. And, if there's a lull in conversation, you can always entertain by relating a story from your youth or sharing something a grandparent once told you.
Top off the day's activities by telling stories around the campfire. Give everyone a chance to weave a tale, or take the lead role and spin one of your own. Don't know any campfire stories? Web sites like Ultimate Camp Resource detail campfire tales by genre, from Native American legends to urban lore. Remember, your stories -- like your camping trip -- don't have to be perfect. You'll have lots of stories to tell based on the memories you create, starting right now.
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