Camping presents a great opportunity for kids to learn and grow in the world’s greatest classroom. Go take your kids camping.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to think of camping as an extraneous activity. After all, it’s fun, and fun can often come low on the list of priorities behind work, school, practices, performances, etc. Camping is more than just fun though. It’s growth. It’s learning. It’s something every child needs to experience. Looking for a reason to escape reality and get out into the wilderness with your kids? We’ve got five of them.
1. Because the real world is more fun than the TV.
Our children face more electronic distractions than any generation before them. In a world in which cartoons are available on multiple platforms, and video games, apps and social media are everywhere, children often learn that fun comes in iPhone form. Camping can change that. Roasting marshmallows over an open fire, playing flashlight tag and going to bed with a view of the stars teaches kids that there are experiences waiting for them outside of the tablet.
2. Because self-reliance is easiest learned outside.
Many believe we may be raising a modern generation of coddled kids. Camping will fix that right up. Your child can learn to fish for the food he or she will be roasting over the fire that evening, or to build a tent to enjoy shelter from the elements that night. Kids gain confidence by completing tasks in self-sufficiency, so something as little as lighting the campfire can encourage them to continue taking on responsibilities that are the bricks that pave the path to self-reliance.
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3. Because it’s easier to stay in shape.
You burn a lot more calories walking back and forth from the water supply than sitting in front of the TV. Camping requires a lot of physical output. Whether you’re just collecting firewood and setting up tents, or adding hiking, fishing and hunting to the mix, maintaining a proper campsite takes energy. It takes movement, and kids that are raised in an active lifestyle tend to continue that into adulthood. This means an increased advantage for maintaining good physical health.
4. Because time moves a little slower when you’re not looking at a clock.
Today, we are all busy. The work hours pass by slowly and the fun flies by. There are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we want to get done because all too often, our lives are controlled by the clock, and the same is true of our kids. Let camping change that. The only times you need to know are when you’re arriving and when you’re heading out, and both are flexible. While you’re camping, you can let the sun and moon guide your priorities. Give your kids a chance to kiss the clock goodbye, if only for a weekend.
5. Because you find family outside of the phone.
My son learned how to operate an iPad at 18 months old, and was better at it than me by age four. Some days, texting his girlfriend and playing “Call of Duty” will probably seem a whole lot more important than hanging out with his mother, but not when we’re camping. Camping offers your family a unique opportunity to put down the electronics and rely solely on each other for entertainment, meals and discussion. I know someday he will outgrow me being the person he wants to do everything with, but he’s never going to outgrow our memories made around the campfire.