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Old 08-11-2012, 04:17 AM   #1
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Do families still camp?

We live in N. Florida and camp fairly often, once a month or so, with bigger trips during the summer. We have 4 children 17,12,11 and 9. It has been our experience all across the country that campgrounds are full of older couples yet very few families with children. Many times we have been the only campers with kids, in both National and private (KOA) campgrounds. Is there some secret place where the families go? There are times when the kids can't even be kids for fear of disturbing the campers whose children have long since moved out. Once we even had the park rangers called on us for singing campfires songs, hours before quiet time, from campers who were over 100 yards away, in a campground with only 3 campers in it! When the rangers told them we were doing nothing wrong, they packed up and left!
We would love to find some family filled campgrounds or maybe have a forum to meet up with other family campers. To me, there are few things more satisfying than showing our children what a beautiful and diverse country they live in and it would be refreshing to find other like minded people to enjoy this wonderful country with. Any takers???
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:39 AM   #2
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I sure hope so. My son just bought a camper and they have two daughters 5 and 7. The girls are not quiet all the time and will be talking and playing, and maybe even some singing. Hopefully they will not be banned from the campground by campers that want only solitude and silence. I enjoy that too but have no problem with kids that follow the rules.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:30 AM   #3
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At the state parks here in Indiana (often at COE reservoirs) where we often stay, the family camping experience is alive and well! You'll see anything from tents all the way to Class A's on full hookups and everything in between (yes even converted school buses) Sure, all those kids buzzing around on their electric scooters can be annoying, but then the old folks buzzing around in their power chairs can get to be a bother too.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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Our experience is that, during the summer in Fl, most campgrounds do not have a lot of children - probably because it is too hot for the traditional tent/soft sided "family" campers. After the weather cools a bit the snowbirds, of course, take over. Further north, in short season areas, you will find state parks loaded with kids, especially on weekends, until about a week before school starts (about now). In general we do not see large numbers of families unless the area is touristy (Smoky Mountains) or the campground itself is a destination or near an attraction.

The other issue, of course, is that many families do not have time anymore for camping. Our grandkids, for instance, have summer athletics (baseball, soccer, football camp, early season basketball workouts), cheerleading camps, church camps, academic camps at a local university, and, of course, the mandatory beach week. Their school summer vacation is only a couple of months anymore - hard to take a week out and sit in the woods.

This thread will, undoubtedly, start a ton of comments about how horrible our society is that people don't camp. But life is different today, both for us and our kids.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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Here in Florida Family Camping is alive and well for sure. I do notice a difference in the number of children at certain times of the year particularly during school vacation closings.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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We just returned from our 5000 mile 3 week trip from Houston to California. Two kids and a dog. We saw lots of families ... Surprising though very few Americans. Mostly the other campers were Swiss, Russian, Romanian, German families with rental class C units. Intermixed were a few of us Americans but we were defiantly the minority. We camp once per month.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by menoble View Post
At the state parks here in Indiana (often at COE reservoirs) where we often stay, the family camping experience is alive and well! You'll see anything from tents all the way to Class A's on full hookups and everything in between (yes even converted school buses) Sure, all those kids buzzing around on their electric scooters can be annoying, but then the old folks buzzing around in their power chairs can get to be a bother too.
Being a "old folk" myself I much prefer the sounds of kids playing to the sounds of drunk middle agers cursing and saying things loudly that would make a sailor blush.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:16 AM   #8
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Dw and I are in our mid 50's and prefer campgrounds with out alot of kids, only as a personal preference. When searching CG's that we have never been to we will check out their web site to see what amenities they have and who they market to. I think this gives a fairly easy way to find campgrounds that suit your needs, from nudists to family activities such as large swimming pools, hay rides, play grounds etc. On the flip side, when we do see families camping we both agree how awesome it is for the family to be out and enjoying fresh country (usually) air and getting the kids away from computers and video games, though they still bring them camping. I only wish I took my 3 kids camping when they were young, though we did enjoy boating for 8-10 years and they still love telling boating stories. We have taken our one son, wife and 2 grandkids with us for a couple of overnights which we all enjoyed and I hope some day they have the money to buy a pop up to be able to come with us more often no less start their own adventures in camping and RV'ing.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #9
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If you go to beach camping areas, you will find them running over with kids. St. andrews at Panama City and Ocean Lakes at Myrtle Beach are two places that are family campgrounds.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:42 AM   #10
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The wife and I have been camping with our two girls since 1987 when they were 5 and 2. We stated in tents and moved up to pop ups. We now take the "girls" and their hubbys and grand kids camping although we have moved up to the class A 36 footer we now own. In fact we are taking our youngest and her hubby camping to Panama City Beach Fl.next weekend. Funny thing though when it's just the Mrs. and myself, we seek out the RV Parks that cater to the older crowd with NO KIDS!... LOL
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:50 AM   #11
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I seek parks that cater to adults too but when I am going with the grandkids I look for the parks I would pass by. THere are parks with kids, trust me when I say sometimes too many kids but I am in the mid atlantic and not FL. We have loads of kids around the regional hotspots. Gettysburg has kids in all the campgrounds, Lancaster the same and Luray VA as well. I will say out west there are campgrounds full of kids near the water and major attractions. So, it might just be where you are camping as a location not a campground.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:52 AM   #12
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Sitting in McCormicks Creek State Park campground in Indiana as I type this. We are mid fifties couple in a nice class A . All around are sounds of children, at the playground, on bikes, singing, hide and seek, countless games and activities going on. I wouldn't want any other way. We feel like we are home in this type of environment. Rarely do you come across rude or disrespectful children or families in a campground. I would much rather see them here active and happy than on a couch with a video game console. Come to Indiana if you want to see families camping!
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:49 PM   #13
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One of the issues we faced when searching for a new to us DP was the lack of family friendly coach designs. The vast majority of coaches we looked at could only sleep 4. We were lucky to find one that could sleep 8 and we had to drive a 150 miles to find it. When searching local areas to camp, we do check out their websites and make sure there is a playground and a pool. There are plenty of kids in the photos, yet none or at best very few, when we arrive. On our longer trips, I prefer to pick our destinations and get to them whenever we get around to it. I like the flexibility to stay longer than anticipated or leave early because the destination wasn't as great as it sounded. On those occasions we usually stay at KOA's since they have the ammenities we look for, playground, pools, etc. However, it just seems that very few families camp. The Jellystone parks look inviting, but they are few and far between. When we camp at Florida beaches, the kids ours are playing with are locals spending a day at the beach, not campers. We like campgrounds where we can watch kids play and meet new friends, yet all we seem to see are retirees walking their lap dogs. In our experiences, those parks are few and far between.
We would love to find some families in the N. Florida
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:59 PM   #14
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I think you will find many more families and kids at the state and COE parks than even the commercial parks. I know my kids use the state parks to tent camp in. They are there on the weekends only but they camp with 4 kids. We have to find a bigger state park or a commercial park if we all go together. They are out there just try different parks. The national parks have loads of kids in them.
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