Every trip is different, from the personalities to the destinations; anytime you lead children through the wilderness, one thing is for sure, you have to stay on your toes. Kids are clever and will soak up their surrounding. So here for you today are 8 tips to keep in mind as your march some munchkins over mountains:
Have a Riddle or Joke Ready
Sometimes leading kids can involve distracting kids. It can be distracting them from their heavy backpacks or wandering hands, and if you have a handful of age-appropriate jokes and riddles ready to go (I recommend the world’s greatest), you can keep your campers engaged, interested in what you have to say, and away from the distractions found by idle hands.
Remember the Beginner
If your taking kids out, chances are it’s one of their first times on this sort of adventure. You need to try and reach back all those years and remember when you were once a humble beginner yourself. Once you attain this mentality, your patience and understanding for your first-time adventures will double.
Speak to Everyone’s Attention
Make sure all eyes are on you when your speaking to the group. It’s important for the campers to understand that when you speaking, they need to listen. Don’t abuse this tenant of leadership, choose your words carefully, and you’ll get your group wanting to hear what you have to say.
Kids will literally and figuratively be looking up to you. Your actions should be confident to instill confidence in their eyes. When you’re lost, it’s “all part of the plan”, and when your plans fall through, “the adventure continues.” Be confident and understand your surroundings, no matter what happens, good times are to follow
Talk to Them
Good communication goes a long way on trail. Open the lines of dialogue early and you can avoid any mis-communications later. Many times small problems that go unsaid can lead to big problems that can’t be avoided. And besides, more often than not, kids can make better conversationalist then adults.
Use Your Authority With Reason
When it comes to whose turn it is to wash the pot, or squabbles about which Pokemon would beat who, why not the Laissez-faire approach? They’ll figure it out on their own. But issues concerning safety, physical well-being, and emotional longevity; this is where you need to bust out the big stick, figuratively speaking.
Understand Their Age
Being much older and wiser now, it’s hard to remember what the eyes of a seven, eight, or nine-year old sees. To remember what the dependence was like, the reasoning behind the judgments, and that first beginning of conscious-awareness developing. If you are to understand one thing about these kids, it should be that they are indeed kids.
Smiles are as infectious as that large batch of poison-ivy your campers are stepping in. If at the end of the day you are having a good time, it will translate to the words you say and the attitude you convey. Always remember why you are out there, way out wonder, and your kids may start figuring it out for themselves.