I often hear many people say that they do not like the idea of camping and cant understand its appeal. Ill be the first to admit that camping is not for everyone. And among those who do camp, there can be a sense of competition as to what is really camping and what is not. To me, that whole discussion misses the point.
The beauty of the outdoors is that it's something that all can enjoy in some form or another. In a day and age when so many jobs keep people tied to an office, it is critical to impart a love for the outdoors into your children at an early age. It will bring balance to their lives and a sense of rejuvenation. After all, who doesnt like a breath of fresh air after a long period of being indoors?
So, as a father of two young boys (three and one), I along with my wife decided to break them into camping at an early age. With both of them, their first camping trip came within their first five months of life. Ill never forget those first camping trips and the ones that have followed. Children, especially very young children, have a way of expressing awe at the beauty of nature in ways that we as adults cannot fully understand or appreciate. My wife and I are getting glimpses of this as we watch our boys respond to every sound of nature, point to every animal, and pick up every stick or rock around them for a close examination.
The beauty of camping, especially for children, lies in this: its a break from the routine of sleeping inside in the comfort of a bed. It represents an adventure
An adventure that your kids will surely love if they are introduced to it at an early age and with a positive attitude.
If a child grows up camping, he or she will undoubtedly like it because they dont know any different. I understand that for some adults camping is a stretch. The idea of roughing it in the woods apart from a bathroom facility, water or electricity just doesnt sound like a good time. My encouragement is to find a form of camping that meets your needs. Maybe thats pitching a tent in your backyard or in the yard of someone you know. Maybe you secure a camp site at a state park that has all of the amenities you need: restroom facilities close by, running water and the option of reserving a site with an electrical outlet.
Whatever you do
commit to exposing your kids to the outdoors as much as possible. If you do, Im convinced that in the end we will have happier, healthier children who can someday be in a better position to find those quiet , peaceful places to turn to in order to decompress from all that is happening in the world around them. Just one dads thoughts