These days most teenagers spend most of their time staring at screens be it via their smartphones, binge watching Netflix or playing console games like Call Of Duty, Tomb Raider or Uncharted that, ironically, are set outside. Those who would once have had a paper round or a Saturday gardening job now make money through YouTube videos, make up tutorials and even sponsored Instagram posts. For many teens, the only exercise they get is in mandatory sports classes or while walking from one shop to another. However, being outside and taking part in outdoor activities not only benefits your health but also increases self-confidence, athletic ability and the chances of leading an active lifestyle as an adult.
Flickr Photo By: Virginia State Parks
Wild camping will introduce your teenager to a whole range of skills including camp cooking, hiking long distances, preparing a shelter and using animal tracking skills to check the area is safe. A wild camping holiday, under the watchful eye of an experienced guide, will teach the whole family how to forage in nature, read an old fashioned map and even build a waterproof raft. Camping is also the perfect holiday if you feel your teen has spent a little too much time browsing social media; nights under the stars, telling scary stories around a roaring campfire and marshmallow eating contests will help them to reconnect with both parents and siblings.
Flickr Photo By: Club Transȃtlantico
Bespoke Bike Tours
Remember how much fun your child had riding their bike when they were little? Reignite that passion by surprising them with a week long bike tour as they ride through some truly spectacular scenery. You’ll stay in a range of accommodation including charming farmhouses, hostels, and hotels and have the chance to explore the area from the saddle. Bike tours also allow teenagers to exercise while having fun and give them the chance to maintain, repair and check their own transport. Biking also lets you go at your own pace, either enjoying a lazy peddle along the road, freewheeling downhill or speeding through a flat stretch. As an extra treat you could buy your cycling enthusiast a brand new cycling helmet. Don’t forget to organize separate cycle insurance as your tour may only offer your group basic cover and not take into account any extra medical costs.
Flickr Photo By: surrealis_uk
A Survival Academy
If your seventeen-year-old loves watching The Island, or Wild with Bear Grylls, then they’ll adore the chance to survive outdoors. Put their mettle to the test on a seven-day survival course where they’ll learn how to build a shelter, create a campfire without matches or lighter and learn invaluable skills that’ll allow them to kill, cook and eat their own food. Survival courses will also show them how to use nature to find their way when they get lost, identify which species of flora and fauna are safe to eat as well as showing them how to keep the camp as environmentally friendly as possible. During the first, and last days of the retreat, you’ll be staying in cozy, family style cabins with at least two overnight outdoor experiences.
Flickr Photo By: Make Lemons
Are you looking for a jam-packed activity holiday camp that’s similar to European nature based resorts like Centre Parcs? Over the last few years, plenty of holiday resorts have begun to offer hiking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting as well as cooking classes and jeep tours. An adventure resort is ideal if your children loved going to sleep away camps or spent summers at Camp America when they were younger. Not to mention due to the fact you’re staying at a boutique resort, you may even find on-site fine dining, tennis courts, state of the art fitness centers and even a swimming pool or cinema. Why not let your kids choose their own itinerary? That way they’ll feel confident they’ll enjoy the activities and it’ll give you a chance to relax too.
Flickr Photo By: manguzmo
Ranch Style Riding
Stay in style at a real, working ranch where you’ll be expected to pitch in with looking after the property and the animals as well as trying your hand at lassoing, bareback riding and cow herding. Your kids will also benefit from a healthy, organic menu everyday. As well as enjoying fresh, warm milk, quality meat, and homemade bread, pastries, and cakes. They’ll be able to visit the hen house and collect eggs every morning which not only teaches them about the importance of commitments but also give them a break from unhealthy, sugar laden junk food. Why not visit the Wildcatter Ranch? Here, you’ll stay in gorgeous western themed rooms, have the chance to become guest ranch hands and relax in the on-site infinity pool and spa.