For children, camping is often a magical experience. The highs (eg. swimming in the lake, eating outside and star-gazing) are incredibly high and the lows (eg. sneaking a midnight bathroom break while listening intently for dangerous, wild animals) are just what makes camping an adventure!
Without the weight of responsibility, children are free to enjoy the experience to its fullest and simply soak in the wonder of being alive and out in nature. Don’t you ever wish you could go back to being a kid again?
One of the thrills of camping—the way we see it—is that feeling that you’re learning something new and useful. A child’s perspective of the world we live in is so fresh. It’s where wonder and awe come from. The drive to explore and discover. That thirst to learn!
That’s why we think it’s important to be intentional about getting out in nature, taking time to explore and discover, and letting the adventure be your guide. Below are 5 suggestions of ways that you can use the adventure of camping to teach your kids about safety and survival basics:
- Talk about wild animals that live in your region and discuss the safest ways to react if you come into contact with one. It’s also a good idea to talk through the importance of keeping a clean campsite and storing food properly. If possible, turn campsite clean-up into a game or a race after mealtime!
- If you’re not vegetarian, teach your kids how to hunt or fish!
- Teach your kids how to light a fire. Of course, this needs to come with a conversation about fire safety, and when and where it’s okay to light a fire.
- Teach your kids some basic navigational skills such as using a compass, and keeping track of landmarks.
- Let the kids help out with set-up and take-down. Pitching the tent may take a little longer, but you’ll end up building their self-reliance!
- BONUS: take apart your first aid kit together and discuss what each item us useful for!
Camping is an opportunity for parents to bond with their kids free from the distractions of everyday life. It’s a special time to create lifelong memories, and the lessons learned in annual camping trips are lessons that will likely last a lifetime as well!
The confidence you’re fostering in your kids by letting them experience the fullness of camping, is priceless! And as long as you’re there to supervise, you’ll find that the work of teaching them when they’re young pays off when they get older.
If you haven’t been camping yet this summer—maybe it’s time to start planning your next adventure!
Article written by Sophie Wooding