It seems like funny movies are always coming out about living a party life at college, or most recently, a fraternity and a family having to get along as neighbors. While these are hilarious works of fiction, we must always remember that there are major differences between a family and a group of college students. These differences become most evident on float trips. While everyone has a right to enjoy their time as they see fit, the way a group of college kids enjoy their time floating can conflict with the way a family wants to spend their time floating. College students are often rowdier, stay up later, and are prone to do a lot of adult themed float trip activities. While that is perfectly fine, and they have every right to do so, it can sometimes conflict with the way a family floats.
While most college students are respectful young adults who will change their words and actions when families with young children are around, sometimes they can be what you would deem inappropriate in front of your children. How can you prevent this inappropriateness from happening? You can’t. What you can do however, is try to lessen your child’s exposure to them. If you notice a rowdy group of people on the river, you can slow down to keep your distance from them. If you notice you are camping next to an inappropriately loud group of people, you can move campsites. Notice however that I have been saying group of people, and not just college kids. Though college kids have the reputation for being the biggest party people, more often than not, a large group of people in their 20’s to 30’s can be even rowdier than a group of college kids. So be careful no matter what kind of people you are floating with.
A quick tip though to avoid the rowdy, party crowd: if possible, go on a float trip during the week. The weekend is always the busiest time for floating, so anytime you are wanting to avoid large groups of people, try to go during the week. Another tip, if you are camping next to some rowdy people, and they are speaking in inappropriate ways, or doing inappropriate things in front of your children, talk to them. They are people just like you and me. If you are polite and ask them to not be as loud, or not do certain things right in front of your kids, usually they will be courteous and adjust themselves.
One last tip though, don’t be a jerk. When you have a family, especially a family with small children, it is understandable if you want to avoid rowdy crowds, but don’t be a jerk to rowdy crowds. Just because other people are on the river that you don’t want there, does not mean you need to be rude to them before you talk to them about toning it down. They are just blowing off steam and enjoying a fun getaway, same as you!