As a parent, do you have wonderful memories of camping when you were a child and would like to share those memories with your children? Maybe you have never gone camping, but it’s on your bucket list. It’s never to late to get started. If you are new to camping, try camping in your back yard: the kids will love it.

With camping season soon to get underway, don’t let another summer go by without spending time with your children outdoors, away from the distractions of technology.

Many parents report a growing concern of being unable to connect with their children without the distraction of smart phones, tablets and laptops. Going camping with your kids is an ideal way to schedule a break from technology; without a screen to interact with, children have to talk to you and each other.

Join The Fun
Celebrating its 10th year, the Great American Backyard Campout, held every year in late June, was organized by the National Wildlife Federation’s “Be Out There” campaign in the hope of encouraging families to spend time outdoors.

According to Anne Keisman, a spokesman for the campaign, today, children in America spend an average of less than 10 minutes a day outdoors. The shift to technology and the obsession with electronics and online games has contributed to a national health crisis. Health statistics reflect an alarming increase in childhood obesity, depression, ADHD, and behavior problems associated with a lack of exercise and fresh air.

Backyard camping, Keisman says, offers “a way to slow down those busy family schedules, enjoy being together, and appreciate the simple joys only nature can deliver.”

Although your goal is to get children outdoors and enjoying the wonders of a wilderness adventure, a “trial-run” in the backyard or a local park is an excellent way to practice setting up your campsite and making sure that you have included all necessary gear in your preparations. And as an added plus, it’s close to emergency supplies or home if your night is interrupted by a sudden thunderstorm and your tent camping attempt backfires.

Do-It-Yourself
If you are the kind of dad or mom that likes to do-it-yourself and teach your children new skills in the process, the planning and preparation can be a learning experience and a big part of the fun of your family camping trip. REI.com provides a helpful checklist of camping gear and supplies you will need for your backwoods adventure.

Make Camping An Educational Experience
In this age of ever-evolving technology, most children, even teenagers, are totally lost when it comes to reading a map or using a compass. Technology is a wonderful tool, but it is important to know what to do without a smartphone or how to find where you are going without the aid of a GPS. Camping in an excellent opportunity to teach children these rudimentary skills as well as basic first aid and how to identify edible plants and dangerous wildlife. When you do go camping, take only a fully charged cell phone restricted to use in an emergency only, leaving all other electronic devices at home.

Camping With Kids
Allow kids to be part of the planning process and take part in decision-making regarding your camping destination, the length of the trip, supplies, gear, recreational opportunities, foods and sights. Encouraging children’s participation helps build anticipation, engagement and excitement.
Spread out maps and talk with kids about where you plan to camp. Older children and teens can be in charge of their own packing. Have kids make a list and supervise to make sure essential items are not left behind.

The backcountry can be intimidating to anyone not used to spending time in nature. Tailor your trip to an age appropriate camping destination with recreational opportunities your children will enjoy.

Prepare For The Worst When It Comes To Weather
You don’t want to learn the hard way how miserable a trip can become if everyone is wet and cold. Be sure that each child has plenty of warm clothes, rain gear, hats, and a change of shoes. A helpful tip is to pack each change of clothing for the kids, including socks and underwear in a separate gallon plastic storage bag. This way, you always have a warm and dry change of clothing available.

 

Are you a Millennial who is interested in buying a home? If so, now may be an excellent time to purchase a house.

Millennials who understand the ins and outs of buying a house will be better equipped to make a great home purchase.

So what should a Millennial look for in a new house? Here are three factors that every Millennial should consider when they evaluate a house:

1. Location

Location is everything in the real estate market, and Millennials who consider a house’s location relative to their personal needs are sure to find a wonderful house.

For instance, if you don’t own a car, you may want to consider purchasing a house that is located near public transportation. Conversely, if you want your home to be a haven from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day office work, you may want to consider buying a house outside the busy city.

Examine the location of a prospective residence during the home evaluation process. By doing so, you’ll improve your chances of finding a home that fulfills your personal needs both now and in the future.

2. Price

A home is a long-term investment, and as such, you’ll need to consider the house’s price before you begin your search for the perfect residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally is a good idea before you start looking at homes. Pre-approval means you’ll be able to establish a homebuying budget and determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a house.

Also, you should examine your personal finances closely prior to your home search. This may allow you to find ways to save extra money for a down payment on a house and explore other cost-cutting measures to ensure you have enough money to afford a new residence.

3. Debt

Unfortunately, debt plagues many Millennials and can destroy your chances of purchasing a house quickly and easily. As a result, you’ll want to examine your debt and find ways to reduce it before you buy a house.

To minimize debt, you’ll first need to know your credit score. Fortunately, you’re eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) at least once a year.

Get a copy of your credit report so you know your credit score. Then, you can review the sources of your debt and work toward paying off outstanding credit card bills and other debt that may hinder your ability to purchase your ideal residence.

Of course, buying a house can be a stressful endeavor for Millennials. And if you need extra help along the way, it is essential to remember that you can employ a friendly, experienced real estate agent.

A real estate agent enables you to take the guesswork out of the homebuying process, and ultimately, may make it simple for you to find a house that fits your personal needs and budget. With the right real estate agent at your side, you’ll be able to streamline the process of buying a house and discover a residence that suits you perfectly.

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