There’s no denying it: we all and especially the kids adore camping. The wide-open spaces, fun activities, and new adventure opportunities around every corner are undeniably appealing.
However, camping is beneficial to children in other ways as well. The camping trip also teaches your child a number of important life lessons that they will remember for years to come. The best part is that these lessons take place naturally while your child is outside having fun.
Experiential learning—knowledge gained through movement, acting, and doing rather than listening to lectures or reading—remains with us for a long time.
Environmental Protection and Conservation
A child’s understanding of the importance of conserving and protecting nature grows as his or her appreciation for its beauty grows. While camping, it’s a good idea to talk about how we can help keep our planet clean, safe, and welcoming to all. When helping to clean up each day, kids can consider leaving the campground in the same condition as when they arrived, or even bettering it if previous campers left trash behind. Simple tasks like picking up litter serve as excellent reminders of the importance of reducing our impact on natural areas.
Survival and Self-Sufficiency Skills
Knowing how to catch a fish or cook over an open fire was common knowledge in previous generations. However, many of us today lack some of these fundamental survival skills. Camping is a fantastic way to learn self-sufficiency and hone our ability to survive in the event of a disaster or other unforeseen circumstance.
Another important life skill that can be learned while camping is teamwork. This is an important time to allow your child to assist you with daily tasks.
Make sure you pitch the tent together and talk briefly about how much easier things are when you work as a team, whether you’re cooking dinner or pitching the tent. Your child will not only feel valued as a member of the family but he or she will also learn the value of cooperation in all aspects of life.
It’s easy to take modern life’s conveniences for granted. We’ve become accustomed to the comforts of central heating, air conditioning, and soft furnishings. Even running water and electricity are considered luxuries. It is easier to remember to be grateful for these things when we go without them for a while. When you get home, talk to your child about how grateful you are for everything you have.
Nature’s wonders aren’t something that can be learned from a book or from hearing someone else’s account or explanation. These things must be witnessed firsthand, and camping provides the ideal setting. Ask children questions that will help them focus on the sensory experiences around them, such as “What can they see?” and “What can they feel?” What is the scent of the air? When everyone is quiet, what sounds can they hear? It’s a great time to just relax and appreciate the beauty of nature when your whole family is sitting down together after a long day of hiking or fishing.
It is easier to realize that we aren’t the only creatures that matter in this universe when we are out in the beauty and vastness of nature, surrounded by creatures large and small. When we look at the world through a different lens, our own small problems and problems in life may appear to be smaller.