Helping Your Children Make Friends at the Campground
Ideas, Tips, and Advice for Finding Campground Friends for Your Kids
One of the things we love most about campgrounds is they are like old school 1980s neighborhoods. Kids are running all over the place, riding bikes, playing tag, sliding down the slide. Life is great.
We recently spent a week with our friends Zula Life and their two kids at Henry Lake State Park campground in Idaho. The kids had a blast riding their hoverboards around, going for walks, having a picnic, playing catch, and even just sitting around in the morning on our outdoor rug chatting!
The previous week we, along with Zula Life, had connected with The Mom Trotter crew at an awesome boondocking spot at Cabela’s in Montana. The kids spent hours playing at the beach, searching for snakes, and Aiden (The Mom Trotters son) even made everyone breakfast outside their RV one morning!
The parents also had a great time sitting around the campfire at night, talking business during the day, fly fishing, and the moms even went on a tubing/paddleboard float down the Yellowstone River.
Having friends while camping just makes the whole experience that much better! If you are new to the campground and your kids don’t know anyone, all this chaos and fun may be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help them get out and make new friends (and you too!).
It may seem simple, but it is an important thing to remember. If your kids are looking to make friends they need to get outside to see and be seen! Even if it is just in front of your campsite or walking around the “block” aka the campground. You would be surprised how many super-friendly kids there are that will just come up and say “hi” and ask your kids to play.
Sign up for activities put on by the campground. Usually, if there are kids’ activities, there will be lots of kids there. At the very least, it’s something for the kids to do and an “easy” way to meet other kids.
Another easy way to meet other kids is to just go to the playground. They are usually filled with other kids playing!
The same things go for the pool. Head to the pool and you are bound to find kids splashing around.
If your kids are slow to warm up or feel uncomfortable, then the parent may have to take a more active role. There have been multiple times when I have had to walk over to a group of parents and kids and start the conversation.
Once I start the initial conversation, the kids will slowly join in with the other kids. I may stay and hang out for a while, or as the kids get comfortable, head off to do my own thing.
Eat Meals Outside
When it is time to eat, either make your meals outside or make them inside but bring them outside to eat. The more accessible you make yourself to people seeing you and saying hi the easier it will be to make friends.
If you are part of any RV membership groups then put your stickers on the outside of your RV where people walking by can see them. They are great conversation starters!
Host A Bonfire
If you are the kind of people who like to host then you could put together a bonfire and walk around the campground inviting other families to come. It may seem awkward at first, but chances are if you are seeking kids for your kids to play with, the other families probably are, too. Just don’t forget to buy ingredients for s’mores!
Host A Movie Night
What better way to get people to come talk to you then to put a big screen up outside your rig and start projecting a fun movie. RVing with a Disney classic is always a winner!
Pick the Right Campground
I do feel this needs to be said. If one of your goals on your trip is to meet other kids and families then you will want to be mindful of which campgrounds you pick. Normally, if a campground has a playground or pool and planned kid activities, they are going to be family friendly and there is a high chance other kids will be there.
Pick the Right Campsite
Same goes for picking your campsite at the campground. If you want to meet a lot of kids and families then pick a campsite that is close to the playground or pool. Chances are there will be a lot of kids and families walking right by your site all day long.
Overall, it is all about getting yourself and your kids out and about so you can see and be seen, and then making the effort to start a conversation with other people at the campground.
Campgrounds just naturally have that neighborhood feel, and we have found that most people are super friendly! Why else would you pick to stay at a place where your neighbor can be just a mere 10 feet away from you? Get outside, smile, be social, and before you know it, you and your kids will have made a ton of new friends on your camping trip!