Keeping young teens entertained

Posted by: mana

Keeping young teens entertained - 07/11/11 04:03 PM

Was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to keep young teens (12-15) entertained while out camping especially in the afternoon/night after the days activities have been completed. Certain games, stories, etc. Thanks!
Posted by: sarbar

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/12/11 07:55 PM

When our oldest was younger - he is nearly 14 now - say between 6 and 11 years - he hiked with me on most trips. Since it ws just him I never had an issue with him bringing his Nintendo along. It was only for camp, only after dark (or if it was too cold or buggy to be outside). It gave him something to relax with and fun.
Not everyone agrees with my method....but hey he hiked adult miles and did my trips so I figured he could have fun.

It is different if you have lots of kids along though....but teens are a different lot. If they like video games and have a system don't necessarily say no - just have ground rules on them.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/13/11 12:25 PM

It really depends on how many you have. If you have a decent group (around 8 or more) a good game or two of capture the flag sure kills the time. If you have less then there is fire starting (making it a challenge), having them cook dinner or set up camp, or just kicking them out of camp to explore. Believe it or not, teenagers are big enough to explore without adult supervision. If you have boys of any age (teenager or younger) throwing rocks or sticks is always fun. Girls might or might not go for that, though. Then there is climbing rocks and trees. My scouts like to play this game called Ninja Strike. I don't really know the rules, but it keeps them entertained. I would say that teenagers are old enough and smart enough to come up with something to entertain themselves. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Posted by: rabbitearscarver

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/13/11 11:46 PM

One word (for boys): Slingshots. They love 'em.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/15/11 07:47 PM

If they're girls, boys; if they're boys, girls. smile

Creeks always work well, especially if there's a little waterfall or a log to try to cross - or almost cross.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/18/11 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By Glenn
If they're girls, boys; if they're boys, girls. smile
...


Keep a close eye on them. You want to come back with the same number of kids you left with. Gaining one is not as bad as losing one.. but still pretty bad.

Though I will have to say, I snagged my wife as a teenage on a camping trip.
Posted by: mana

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/18/11 01:34 PM

Thanks everyone for your input!
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/18/11 04:57 PM

We may need a bit more information: were you also a teenager at the time? smile
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/18/11 05:02 PM

I used to have a Scout that didn't want to stay with the group. After the third time I had to go run him down when he decided to do some impromptu re-routing of himself, he said, "Why are you so worried about always knowing where I am?"

I don't know what inspired me, but I told him, "Because your parents didn't pay the extra ten bucks."

When he asked what I meant, I told him, "Well, I told all the parents that for the $15 trip fee, I'd bring you out here, let you have a good time, and bring you home. For an extra $10, I'd bring you out here and let you have a good time. Your folks didn't want to pay the extra $10."

No more problems. Sometimes, you just have to explain it in terms they understand.
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/19/11 02:19 PM

I will stick my neck out here and say that older teens, with some experience, are capable of going on an overnight by themselves. You need to loosen the noose as they grow up! By the time they do their own route-finding, cook all meals, set up camp etc, they will be quite busy. As they go off to college they undoubtedly will go out with buddies and you will have absolutely no influence or say. As high school juniors or seniors, you can ease them into this by helping with the planning phase, be sure they are properly equipped and trained, and then just let them go. If there is cell phone coverage they can call you once they get to their destination. At some point you need to trust them.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/19/11 03:30 PM

Originally Posted By Glenn
We may need a bit more information: were you also a teenager at the time? smile


hahahaha... yes... all laws were followed (at least on that trip).
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/19/11 04:58 PM

A couple of times, we planned two congruent trips, with the less-experienced group and adult leaders taking one trail, and the older, more experienced group taking another loop that had them spending a night on their own. Each group knew where the other was hiking and camping, in case some need to make contact arose, but the older ones were really on their own - even though there was only a couple of miles between us. We used a national forest they'd been to before, so they'd feel more comfortable.

They had a great time, and kept going back after they had aged out of the youth group. (A couple even volunteered as adult leaders a few times.)
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/21/11 05:13 PM

Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I will stick my neck out here and say that older teens, with some experience, are capable of going on an overnight by themselves. You need to loosen the noose as they grow up! By the time they do their own route-finding, cook all meals, set up camp etc, they will be quite busy. As they go off to college they undoubtedly will go out with buddies and you will have absolutely no influence or say. As high school juniors or seniors, you can ease them into this by helping with the planning phase, be sure they are properly equipped and trained, and then just let them go. If there is cell phone coverage they can call you once they get to their destination. At some point you need to trust them.


This reminds me of a trip I took during spring break my senior year. I went with two of my friends for 2 nights up in the Cascades. We ran into a lot of problems, but had a great time.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 07/21/11 06:51 PM

W_D is so right about the older teens! For the younger ones, teach them how to route-find, set up camp, "go" outdoors, LNT, etc., so they will have the necessary skills when they start going on their own. Then you won't have to worry, or at least won't transmit your worries to them.

As a parent of 4 (now with children of their own), I found that we parents never stop worrying, but we at least learn to pretend that we don't! laugh
Posted by: phat

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 10/27/11 01:22 AM

I remember some of my backpacking trips at 16 without adult supervision... I hope my kids were never that dumb..

Then again, I suppose it did make me smarter, and didn't kill me, so maybe I do hope my kids were that dumb. Maybe more kids should be that dumb wink
Posted by: ppine

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 10/27/11 04:43 PM

phat,

My parents were very lenient, and helped us convince other kids' parents to let them go on some great trips. We started backpacking at age 12 without adults and minimal equipment. Dad made us take a machete instead of an axe because it wassafer.

We also spent a week on an island in Cheasapeake Bay two summers in a row with just for 4 kids. It was like the "Lord of the Flies" when the food ran low and we fought over it. Those experiences really taught us some independence. Kids today go off to college with less experience.
Posted by: SurvivalDad

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 04/28/15 01:00 PM

I let mine have an MP3 player with whatever they want on it. Oddly enough enough, they both choose audiobooks.
Posted by: textesting

Re: Keeping young teens entertained - 10/27/15 01:38 AM

Chatting casually sounds great. Make conversations that attracts your teens.