As a parent, you spend a lot of your time thinking about how to create the perfect environment for your children to grow up. Your home is warm and cozy and has lots and lots of entertainment. But being in that environment all the time can detach us from nature, the place where humanity spent the majority of its history.
The cool thing is that nature is accessible in the modern world: we just need to take our kids to it. And what better way to do that than to take them camping? Check out these reasons why your children should go camping.
It’s A Learning Experience
There’s only so much about the world you can learn through the TV, smartphones, and books. Some things just have to be experienced in order to be learned. How to hike, how to cook over an open fire, how to fish and how to read a map are all things that are difficult to learn without the great outdoors.
When on camp, kids quickly learn new things, even basic things, about their environs. They discover that it hurts to get pricked by a bush and that it’s harder to stay warm than you might think, even in the summer time.
If your kids go to a youth retreat center, they can also learn more about God, far from the trappings of modern civilization. For many children, it can be a transformative experience.
They Get To Experience Nature
According to the latest data, a mere 19 percent of children in 2015 climb trees. What was once a universal practice has become little more than a sideshow. Scientists are worried about this trend. Their research has taught them that children who are out in nature frequently are happier, healthier and further along in their cognitive development than children who aren’t.
Another study, this time from Britain, found that today’s children knew more about the fictional creatures in Pokemon than they did about animals in their own backyard. Experiencing nature can be scary at first: nature is a scary place. But soon it becomes normalized. What once seemed like a scary big bird is soon understood and accepted.
Camping Encourages Activity
Campers don’t sit in their chairs all day. There’s so much to do around the campsite. Aside from cooking food, putting up tents and collecting water, campers have a unique opportunity to explore their surroundings. They can go hiking, canoeing, rock climbing and biking, not to mention horseback riding.
Children who go camping soon develop that explorer spirit. They want to find out what’s over the next horizon and break new frontiers. And they want to be able to challenge themselves to go further than they did before, having lots of fun along the way.
All this activity has two effects. First, it makes children physically fitter and stronger than they were before they arrived. Camping is a muscular effort that requires physical strength. And second, campers soon develop their independence, doing things for themselves, like cooking.