One of the best things about campgrounds is that they allow families and groups of friends to gather and spend quality time together in a comfortable environment. Communal campfires and group picnic areas give everyone the chance to catch up and bond, while individual campsites and cabins offer much needed downtime and privacy.
If you are considering hosting a family reunion, birthday party, or just a weekend get together at a campground, advance planning and communication will go a long way to ensuring everyone has a blast. After spending dozens of nights at the campground with friends, here are our 5 tips for having a blast while camping in a group.
1. Agree on the type of campground, amenities, and activities everyone wants.
Some campers love pools, bounce pillows, and organized campground activities. Other folks look for rustic retreats where they can unwind and connect with loved ones. Discuss expectation in advance and make sure everyone is on board with the campground choice.
2. Decide what types of sites or cabins you would like.
Do you want sites right next to each other, or are you looking for RV sites near cabins? Look at a campground map together and talk about what area would be best for your group. If you are camping with young children, consider reserving spots near the playground. If you are planning relay races and cornhole tournaments, look for an open field or recreation area.
3. Schedule time for group activities and keep plenty of time unplanned.
Decide on a few events that everyone will participate in and set a schedule that people can plan around. You might consider some fun tournaments or maybe just a daily afternoon swim at the pool, but be sure not to overschedule your time together. Feeling like every minute of your day is accounted for can seriously ruin campground mojo.
4. Discuss meal arrangements in advance.
This might be the most important topic to discuss ahead of time. There are many different ways to organize meal times, but plan in advance and stick to it. We like to do breakfast and lunch on our own and then assign each family one night's dinner. It might be a little extra work for one meal, but then you get to take the rest of the time off! Beware, dividing up ingredients for individual meals (you bring the ketchup and I'll bring the mustard) can turn into a dinner-time disaster...or at least we have heard.
5. Be flexible!
Remember that you have gathered with your family and friends to have fun and that should be the number one priority. Not everything will go according to plan when you are group camping, but that's okay. You won't remember the missed activities or the burned rolls. You will, however, remember the time spent around the campfire and the wonderful connections we build with our loved ones when we take the time to camp together.