Camping with kids

Kate asks how you introduced your kids to the great outdoors

By Kate Stewart

Camping with kids

Credit: wildxplorer

Even though the weather here in Toronto isn’t sunny and bright today, I’m getting ready to haul the camping equipment out of the crawlspace.
I come from a pretty outdoors-y family. My first camping experience was spent in diapers.
On my mom’s side, if you can’t ski or snowboard you pretty much won’t be attending family reunions.
At one point all five  members of the Stewart clan were involved in Boy Scouts or Girl Guides.  So needless to say I was bit by the camping bug (otherwise known as the mosquito) pretty early.
But while I troll the Ontario camping website for weekends that aren’t already booked up, I wonder about how families these days are introducing the next generation to camping.
I know it’s not for everyone, but living in Canada with such an array of outdoor destinations, is it not a right of passage to sleep outside (even if it’s just in your backyard)?
And what do you do when one or both parents don’t know the first thing about putting up a tent or building a fire? I consider myself lucky to have grown up with a set of outdoor skills, but as I go out in the world I’m coming to realize that I’m somewhat of a novelty.
So if you’re like me and can go a weekend without showering or makeup, can paddle a canoe, sleep on the ground and cook over a fire, how did you introduce camping to your family?
And what age did your children first experience the joys of packing up the car and heading north for a weekend?

      Photo by wildxplorer via Flickr      

This article was originally published on Mar 20, 2012