Happy Campers - Five Reasons to Take Your Family Campingby Brandon Bennett on 08/01/21
My wife and I grew up camping and have continued that tradition with our family and friends. We prefer tents, but others like campers, or RVs. There’s not a wrong way to camp, but there are many great reasons to go.
1. Camping changes your focus.
When you are camping, your focus is your family. Not your cell phone, emails, or the next big streaming series.
This frees up time for you and your loved ones to explore the world. You will entertain each other with games that require motion (hiking, tag, swimming) or interaction. Some of our best talks with our kids have been while hiking or sitting in front of a campfire.
2. Camping gives you a new environment.
A new environment, especially being in nature, helps the focus shift. Rules relax and schedules slow down. This may mean it’s okay to let the kids stay up a little bit. It could mean having the second S’mores is not that big a deal. The change of environment also allows for us to learn and reinforce lessons about life. In a smaller space, like a tent, we must keep it cleaner/neater. Because we are in a separate environment, we listen to each other a little differently. We can use this more relaxed time to reinforce lessons from home.
Being in nature, we discover she does not play favorites. Leaving your shoes in the floor at the house is just messy. Leaving your shoes outside the tent in a rainstorm creates a natural consequence of wet shoes. No amount of sweetness and politeness will convince mother nature not to smack you down.
3. Camping is an adventure.
The novelty of being outside for days at a time excites the child and explorer in all of us. If everyone has a reason to go and starts with a positive attitude, the trip can create great bonds. Many times, just being outside and breathing in fresh air can change our attitude. Just give it a few hours.
4. Camping slows the pace.
Because of the change of focus and new environment, families end up spending more quality time during a weekend of camping than many do in a month. The short-term camping experience makes things like a meal outside or game more enjoyable. Remember to relax and give everyone a little breathing room.
The outdoors gives us all room to grow.
5. Camping is a shared hardship.
You won’t have every creature comfort when you go camping – and that’s ok. Our family’s goal is to pack as little as possible when we camp, so we have fewer things to worry about or keep track of. Every camping trip brings the challenge of something being forgotten, something being broken, and learning to deal with each other in tight spaces and in times where there’s nothing else to do. Your kids (and you) learn to improvise and make up new games or activities to share. Boredom breeds creativity.
“Do you remember that time that….”
Think of the stories that you tell when your extended family gathers. There are stories of wonderful summers, incredible ski trips, and great holidays. In my family, most of the stories are about times that were difficult. Times we persevered and pushed through together. These shared hardships bind us together in ways that are unique to our family. These stories become part of the fabric of our history that our children will share with their own families.
People have been living outside for all of creation. Make a list, grab a tent, and go outside. Happy camping.