Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/14/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Have a staycation for the kids in your backyard for leanring and fun!

Summertime is a nice time to go camping, and a great way to occupy the kids, but what do you do if you just don't have the time to get away? How do you provide this experience for your kids without travelling to the nearest national park? 

A backyard tent can be improvised and setting it up is part of the fun!

A backyard tent can be improvised and setting it up is part of the fun!

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/14/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Staycation, summer solution, backyard, camping


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Camp in your backyard! For most children, a backyard camping trip is an experience they will enjoy and it can all happen under the watchful eye of an adult and in the safety of home. No bears to worry about, and indoor plumbing makes this an easy summer solution for you!

Q: What if I don't have a backyard?  Not everyone has green space available behind their home. In such a case, family or friends might be willing to provide the "campsite" and possibly the supervision. All it takes is a little networking. 

What you need: 
A tent
Appropriate clothing (for warm or cold weather)
Sleeping bags and blankets
A BBQ grill or place to safely build a fire
An ice chest with ice to hold food and drinks
A flashlight
A journal with a pen or pencil for taking notes
A local nature guide if available
A guide to the stars if they are visible from your home
A pair of binoculars

While you can start anytime, the morning is best. It's cool outside and the first part, pitching the tent is a bit of work. Before embarking however, make sure the weather is fair for camping. Summertime can bring dangerous weather to some places, so ensure that you'll have a day of safe weather before putting down stakes. 

Based on what you have, your experience with outdoor shelter will vary. If you do not have a tent, you may improvise with a canvas tarp or even large quilts. Sometimes, part of the improvisation process is part of the fun. Supervise everything, but as much as possible, let kids solve their own problems. 

Once settled down, kids can start exploring. Based on what nature is nearby, they can "hike" through the neighborhood to a nearby park, or they may simply observe nature from their backyard. Let them use binoculars to view local wildlife. Have them record what they see and learn in their journals just like a naturalist would. This is a good time for them to learn the names of different species of flora and fauna and to learn about natural behavior. 

Make sure kids stay hydrated throughout their trip. 

For lunch, prepare simple sandwiches or another cold meal. Nothing fancy. If possible, let the kids work this out themselves too. All these activities teach a life skill they will need later in life. 

In the afternoon, kids can play outdoors, nap, or go for another hike. Reading a book in the shade is also a worthwhile activity, especially if the book involves nature, camping, or some other relevant topic. 

In the early evening, it's time to prepare supper. Hot dogs will do, although any warm meal cooked on a fire is ideal. For this, an adult should be present at all times to ensure safety. 

After dinner, kids can spend time telling stories to one another that they either know or make up. This is a good time for adults to share old stories they know. Talk about interesting ancestors, or topics related to nature. Help your kids to bond with the natural world by increasing their understanding of it. 

After some time swapping stories around the fire, it's time to make dessert! And what else would you make if not s'mores (short for "some more")? These tasty treats are simple to prepare. You will need:

Ghram crackers
Chocolate (Hershey bars are commonly used)
Marshmallows

Break the crackers in half to form two squares, these will be the "bread" of the s'more. Place a piece of chocolate on the bottom cracker. Heat the marshmallow in the fire until it is warmed to taste. Place the marshmallow (without touching it, it will be hot!) between the crackers. The hot marshmallow will melt the chocolate while the crackers will keep your fingers from getting sticky. Enjoy! 1-2 per kid is plenty and will make a nice dessert for everyone. 

After dessert, stargaze for a bit. A red flashlight will help keep eyes adjusted while looking at the constellations on paper, then in the sky. A red flashlight can be improvised using red cellophane, if available. 

If possible, arrange the sleeping bags where kids can watch the stars as they drift to sleep. Count shooting stars, if any appear, and remember to make wishes. 

If nature calls during the night, a flushing toilet is but a few steps away. 

In the morning, a breakfast of cold cereal is typical. Kids may enjoy a second day of camping if you feel up to it as a parent, or it can be time to return home. Make sure kids learn responsibility by folding their tent and cleaning their campsite as thoroughly as possible. Take only memories, leave only footprints is the rule! 

A warm shower should conclude the transition back to the civilized world, and they're home again.
 
Happy camping!

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Living Faith

How much power do you really have? More than you think!

Image of YCVF continues to deliver quality learning tools to Catholic students.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Earlier this year, representatives from Catholic Team Global donated a batch of XO Tablets to a humble Catholic school. Now, Catholic Team Global is preparing to do it again with support from its members and valued readers of Catholic Online. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Challenging the just war theory

Image of The horrors of war persist long after the shooting stops.

By Tony Magliano

Is there such a thing as a just war? Can the massive death and destruction of armed conflict ever be morally justified by followers of the Prince of Peace? For the first disciples of Christ the answer was a resounding "No!"During the first 300 years of Christianity it ... continue reading


St Augustine Teaches Us How to Read the Bible Watch

Image of St. Augustine writing

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Bible is not some-thing, but reveals Some-One. In the words of St. Paul to Timothy, all Scripture is inspired by God. (2 Tim. 3:16) The Greek means God-breathed. They reveal Jesus Christ and our encounter with Him is the heart of what it means to be a Christian. ... continue reading


Spiritual Childhood and Contemplative Prayer Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

One of the greatest joys in this later chapter of my life is an unexpected gift, his name is Noah. He is my grandson. He calls me Poppi. He is seven years old and so very wise. Noah continually confronts me with the utter simplicity, trust, openness and beauty of ... continue reading


How to Avoid Sliding into Pharisee-ism Watch

Image of Christ Before the High Priest, by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656) hangs in the London Museum of Art.  The painting depicts Jesus, standing before the High priest - with His holy hands bound. The Priest, who at the time I thought was a Pharisee, is looking up with an arrogant demeanor and a pointed finger.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

A priest friend once reminded me that not ALL the Pharisees were so blinded by their self-righteousness that they failed to recognize that the One whom they so often sought to correct was God Incarnate. And, of course, he was correct. The Pharisees were a genuine ... continue reading


What every catechist needs but few have

Image of A complete library of books for catechists should feature the USCCB's full collection.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're a catechist, then you're aware of the importance of your role. You provide the core of Catholic education to our youth and adults who are entering the Church. As such, you are familiar with the teachings of the Church and can probably answer most questions ... continue reading


DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS: Up to 50 Iraqi Christian refugees sleeping in areas the size of bedroom Watch

Image of Mosul, one of the largest cities in Iraq, is now completely empty of Christians as is Qaraqosh, a town dating back to 1,000 years before Christ and inhabited by mostly Christians for 2,000 years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mattresses scattered around church altars. Up to 50 people sleeping in areas the size of a single bedroom. Church grounds dotted with makeshift tents in 105-degree heat. This was just a few of the deplorable conditions a delegation sent by Melkite Catholic ... continue reading


Pope Francis briefed by envoy about deteriorating situation in Iraq Watch

Image of Cardinal Filoni spoke to the Pope last week. The cardinal had just arrived at the Vatican following a visit to Iraq on August 13-20 as Francis' envoy to besieged minorities there.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Back from a fact-finding mission on the deteriorating and ever worsening situation in Iraq, Cardinal Fernando Filoni said that Pope Francis "was really taken" by his description of Christians and other minorities who have been forced from their homes in north-western ... continue reading


Will Suffering, Struggle, Failure and Pain Make us Bitter or Better? Watch

Image of Because of his close communion with Jesus Christ, the Risen One who had called him in the desert, Paul cultivated an interior strength which made it possible for him to walk through the pain, to even embrace the pain, and to experience failure itself as a path to the Cross where he found comfort in the wounded side of Jesus the Savior.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

St. Paul was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary Christian. An Apostle, raised up out of the ordinary course, he accomplished great things for the Lord as he eagerly responded to His calling to build the Church and, through her, to help change the world. A ... continue reading


What Pope Francis said to make millions think again about abortion Watch

Image of On Saturday, August 16, 2014, during the apostolic visit to Korea, Pope Francis made a loud statement. However, he did not use words. He did not have to. His prophetic action brought to mind a saying attributed to his namesake, Francis of Asisi - I preach the Gospel at all times, but sometimes I use words.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When Francis began his service from the chair of Peter, much hoopla filled the media about some alleged softening in the opposition of the Catholic Church to what are dismissively referred to as complicated "moral issues" such as abortion. Sadly, even some in the ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 1:1-9
1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 24:42-51
42 'So stay awake, because you do not know the day ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 28th, 2014 Image

St. Augustine of Hippo
August 28: St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter