“Bring Back Wildhood” Great Ad from Go RVing !

We went RVing a few years ago courtesy of this very group — Go kresihaebz
— and found kids at campsites seemed really Free-Range. There was such a sense of community in the woods, and this is such a lovely commercial. (And why didn’t I come up with the word “wildhood”???)

Why are campgrounds so much more Free-Range than some permanent communities?

Why are campgrounds so much more Free-Range than some permanent communities?

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17 Responses to “Bring Back Wildhood” Great Ad from Go RVing !

  1. Mike C February 27, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    The Go RVing people also did a great radio ad that was both funny and very free range (and in my opinion better than their TV commercial). I heard it during my morning commute a couple weeks ago and tried to track it down for you, but couldn’t find it on the internet.

  2. Maxine February 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    True story: Camping with friends whose kids are fairly free range. We’re down at the “beach” (mountain lake beach) and friend asks “where are the girls?” Their 2 and our 2 were about 7-11 ish. I say “they went back to the campsite to start the fire.” Silence. Laughter. “No, seriously, Where are they?” I started laughing and said “making the fire.” She looked kind of confused and then sat back to enjoy the beach. When we got back to the campsite there was a nice campfire ready for cooking. I must credit Girl Scouts for teaching my daughters to make campfires, though I am really no fan of the organization, which has been ruined by thousands of ridiculous rules that turn scouting into the opposite of what it should be.

  3. Linda February 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    I love the idea of a “wildhood” for all kids….easily doable without an RV, but good for them for this great ad!

  4. Warren February 27, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    We had a trailer on a yearly site for years. The kids were literally on the go from the time they woke up until the time they crashed. The only time any of the parents saw their kids during daylight, for more than 5 mins…………..feeding time.

    Family time was usually around the fire before bed, and fishing in the morning. Other than that, as long as they stayed in the park, they had all the freedom in the world. And that included the beach, and lake.

  5. Jenirose February 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    Wow, that’s all I can say is wow. I was almost in tears watching this commercial how wonderful it would be to be able to let our kids run wild. What could this do for our children, can you imagine what they would gain from being outdoors and breathing fresh air. Not to mention that the experience of being close to nature and the world around them. The ability to learn right from wrong without having to be guided to that decision. Imagine how excited they would be for themselves, and imagine that joy as a parent to see that excitement on your child’s face, there is nothing better. It is a bond that will last a lifetime.

  6. Shawn D. February 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    RV trips are indeed fun and a great opportunity to get close to numerous opportunities for adventure you can’t get in a hotel. I used to have an old ’74 Class C motorhome (the type with the van front and bread box back w/ overhang) I got for $500 because the owner had “fixed” it incorrectly and it wouldn’t run. After a major rehab and a $700 RV-specific refrigerator, I used it from ’94 to ’06: 3X diagonally across the US (I was in the Air Force) and multiple trips in Georgia. I finally gave it to my fraternity for their use. My son is 24 now and I’ll definitely be getting another in time for grandkids (I hope). 🙂

  7. Edward February 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    Alec J. Fischer has been sharing his “wildhoodness” since he was 11 with “AlecInWilderland” youtube videos:


    Now 15 years old, Alec and the show have matured from kid survivoring techniques to a real passion for ecology and endangered wildlife. Just as important, he constantly encourages kids to get outside – go exploring – and to “STAY WILD”.
    While the vids are produced with the help of an adult team (and lots of generous fans) it’s Alec’s kid-centered viewpoint that makes them so enjoyable to watch.
    I’m proud to have contributed to Alec’s efforts just as I have to Lenore and FreeRangeKids.
    Edward Hafner

  8. Elisabeth February 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Love it — I prefer not to go anywhere in an RV, but I am so thrilled that the message “kids need some freedom” is going mainstream!

    As to your question, why do kids in campsites seem more free range than in built communities, it may be a selection bias perhaps? I’m guessing the average family that opts for camping trips believes that its important to get kids outdoors and exploring things on their own out in nature in order to build self-reliance.

  9. hineata February 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    Such a beautiful ad! But too late for our family. We have spent most of their childhood having holiday freedom in camping grounds. A few years ago though we discovered 5-star hotels in Malaysia (where our money goes soooo much further than at home ) and now the girls and I would be absolutely happy to free-range beside a tropical pool, sipping orange mock tails. The men though, damn them, keep wanting to head out of the hotels and actually interact with the environment. .. 😢

  10. Emily February 27, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    >>As to your question, why do kids in campsites seem more free range than in built communities, it may be a selection bias perhaps? I’m guessing the average family that opts for camping trips believes that its important to get kids outdoors and exploring things on their own out in nature in order to build self-reliance.<<

    I think that's part of the reason, but there's more to it than that. I mean, for most middle-class families in developed nations, they have large houses, big enough for each kid to have their own bedroom, and there are plenty of electronic distractions as well–televisions, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and lots of appliances that make daily chores more convenient. Also, suburbs are designed in such a way that walking or biking anywhere is difficult, because everything is spread out, and maybe the public transit is infrequent, inadequate, or nonexistent. So, going anywhere means getting in the car (which, of course, requires an adult), and play dates have to be scheduled, because the alternative is sending your child out into traffic, to traverse all the way around a mammoth block of houses, because there's no way to cut through to visit their friend on the other side, and even if you think they can do it, the Tattlesons next door might call CPS on you if you allow it. Camping strips all of that away–an RV is small enough so that nobody wants to stay inside, unless it's raining, because there's No. Privacy. At. All. The electronic toys might have been brought along, but the WiFi signal in the middle of the forest or national park is going to be so crummy that nobody's going to want to use it, and that's okay, because playing outside is a novelty that a lot of kids don't get to experience very often. The neighbours, beach, playground if there is one, wood pile, and water pump are likely within visual range of any given RV hookup site, or close to it, and since "cooking dinner" requires a bit more effort than turning on the stove or microwave and throwing in a Stouffer's frozen dinner, it's necessary to recruit the kids to help. Once parents see their kids successfully visiting the neighbours who are camping a few feet away, or collecting water or firewood, it builds their confidence, so by the second or third day of their vacation, the kids have free run of the park, like Warren gives his kids. So, I guess camping is a bit like "stepping back in time," because it knocks down so many of our modern barriers to living Free Range in our regular lives. I never went RV'ing when I was growing up, but I did go to summer camp. Yes, we had scheduled activities every day, but we also had a lot of free time, and some of that looked like the scenes of "wildhood" in the commercial.

  11. Emily February 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    P.S., I forgot to mention, at the summer camp I attended during my youth, all but the youngest campers went tent camping at some point during their stay, with the length and “adventurousness” of the trips increasing with the age of the campers. So, I remember hiking to a campsite an hour or two away and camping overnight as an intermediate camper, all the way up to a five-day, four-night canoe trip in C.I.T. A lot of the scenes of “wildhood” played out there, and back at camp, we also played games in the forest during evening program (scarier that way), such as Capture The Flag, Sardines, Survival, and another game that involved counsellors dressing up as monsters and pretending to “terrorize” the campers. So, even though I never went RV’ing, I think I’ve had similar experiences.

  12. Michelle February 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    We rented an RV for the first time last Spring Break. The kids (9,9,7,7, and 3) said that it was their BEST VACATION ever. I returned longing to go back on the road–just us and the RV. Here is the post I wrote about setting out in our RV: http://www.twinstimestwo.com/hit-the-road-jack-renting-an-rv-for-spring-break/

    We are renting another RV next week and setting out to regain ALL OF OUR WILDHOODS!

  13. Warren February 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    You want a fun family vacation, get a houseboat on a waterway like the Trent/Severn or Rideau Waterways. That is fun while visiting some great small towns and hamlets along the way.

  14. sexhysteria February 28, 2015 at 3:43 am #


  15. Papilio February 28, 2015 at 8:45 am #

    ALL my childhood vacations involved either a boat or a tent. The one exception was when we spent four weeks in the west of the US – in an RV 🙂

  16. Emily February 28, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    @Warren–I think I’d rather a camping vacation than a houseboat vacation, because a houseboat forces a certain level of togetherness, whereas vacationing at a campsite wouldn’t, unless it was raining.

  17. Sylv March 2, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Mike C, I love that radio commercial too. To the best of my memory it goes like this (not verbatim):

    Voice of a young boy:

    “Ready or not, here I come. With my mother. In case I fall and hurt myself, or cannot find you quickly enough and damage my self esteem. She says we should just pretent to play hide and seek, as it is fraught with danger and should be done away with, So ready or not, here we come”.