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No matter what your chosen camping environment, setting up and breaking down camp is something that ranks high on the importance list. It can either be a well planned campaign worthy of praise, or it can all so quickly result in chaos with everyone involved doing much but achieving nothing while yelling at everyone else in the vicinity.
Camping should be relaxing and the setting up and breaking down should not elevate the stress levels. Here are a few guidelines to achieving that nirvana.
Have a checklist. What needs to be done, in what order, and by whom. To start with you might want to write down the checklist and read it aloud as you progress. After a while the list will be committed to memory and will be of little use. What is likely to happen though is that members of the team will be prompting each other with what comes next (or what has been missed).
Know the team and have them know each other. Who will help and who will sit out. If you have children who cannot make a worthwhile contribution then find something else for them to do. When you have the team, start thinking about who will do what. Trust them to do the job. Don’t be someone that is heard saying, “If you want a job done properly, do it yourself.”
Communicate to the team. Make sure everyone knows what their involvement is and what is expected of them. After that, keep on communicating and encouraging.
Adopt a fun but constructive attitude. Getting too serious can put people on edge. Let’s face it, what is the worst thing that can happen. Sounds silly, but singing songs and making impromptu jokes/funny comments can help lighten the mood.
Don’t get mad! I know this can be difficult after or before a long drive but if something goes wrong or is done not as it should be, take the opportunity to make it a constructive team learning moment.
Of course, someone has to take charge (and it’s usually dad). So whoever is in charge should correctly assume charge and responsibility by leading and encouraging. Don’t forget the pat on the back afterwards!
Basically, the job has to be done so the best way is to make it as less a stressful experience as possible.
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