So, I used to love camping! I thought I wouldn't as I hate bugs, but I do. My husband introduced me to it and both of us, and a few friends used to go to a market down on the drink, and camp overnight, and it became a regular thing (Check out my Funny Family Tale #5 published also today and links to this theme).
Just last year, after many years of not camping, we decided to take the kids. They were excited but I thought it was going to be a nightmare. We had a rough year and I had been working hard, and I finished my BA and we needed a break. I booked a lovely place in Helmsley and we travelled through. We had to buy new things as we had gotten rid of most of our old stuff, and I can honestly say we had the best time ever. Here are my five reasons why I think you should take your children camping. I appreciate this isn't for everyone and this is my opinion (remember I am not God, or telling you what to do, it's an opinion).
*1. Fresh Air
Every child needs fresh air, in fact so does every adult. I wont lie, the whole time I was camping I was tired. I got up, showered in the shower block, helped the children get ready, and then I tidied the tent and folded the sleeping bags so that we could unfold the day furniture. Then it was all about food - I made breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks - probably supper too and for the rest of the time, I watched the children play in the play area and I read my book.
*2. No Technology
I thought we would all struggle without technology. I am always on the internet to the point it is shocking, but I work on it too so I do need to access. I couldn't! My phone died, and I turned it off so I could use it on the day I travelled home. Usually I am not off it, but I didn't even think about it. It's good to remind children that there is more to life than TV, computers, and video games - they didn't even notice.
*3 Valuable Family Time
Camping takes you away from distractions imposed on you. There was nothing to take away the attention so we had some cracking family time. On a night, in the dark, we all slept in the same bedroom so that the kids didn't get scared and we told stories - fairy tale like ones. We took turns, so I started, then it passed to my daughter, then one of my sons, then his father - and we kept doing this until we ended the story, all adding bits. It gave us some quality time together.
*4 It's Relaxing
Everyone needs to relax from the stresses and strains of life and this really did benefit us as we did relax. I was able to unwind, and read, and yet the kids had fun. It was really good as there was a relaxed atmosphere within our family. We walked, and talked, and played games. We really connected. On the Saturday, we found out there was a Pizza shop in a neighbouring village that delivered to the campsite at a specific time so we ordered take away. Some places still have the night life and a swimming pool too but the one we went to was last minute and was also quite simple.
*5 It's Educational
There are many ways you can educate your children by taking them camping. There is nature, and even animals and the environment can all link into this. You can also teach them basic survival skills and this could be beneficial in the future as who is to say what will happen. It depends on what campsite you go to but some allow you to build fires, and you can learn basic survival skills like getting around in the dark, cooking food, cleaning up your pots, protecting animals and cleaning up your meant. If you are experienced in foraging then you could teach them this skill too - the possibilities are endless.
A lot of people are put off camping but it's my philosophy in life that you should try things (within reason) at least once. I was worried about my hair and make up, but I managed to do it in the shower block which were kept immaculate. Yes, I could have straightened my hair but I didn't know anyone so I didn't bother. The rewards of spending time with your family and embracing camping is excellent. What's the worst that can happen? You hate it - you come home early and don't go again! See if you can lend some equipment the first time you go so cost is minimal.
These are my reasons and I hope I have encouraged you, as the experience was amazing and I will certainly be going again!