While camping with kids provides it's own set of new challenges and struggles, the benefits (even if they are in the long run) far outweigh a little short-lived discomfort. We've had our fair share of sleepless nights in tents. We've even bailed and dismantled the tent in the middle of the night and headed home. But, we've also made some of the very best family memories that we talk about all winter in anticipation for the next round of summer nights.
In an attempt to help encourage even more families to get out and sleep under the stars (or at least without electricity or *gasp** cell service) we've put together our best list of why camping as a family is a must-do for everyone in one capacity or another.
- It's a wide-open invitation to get dirty and breathe in fresh air.
- Camp food just makes everyone happier. S'mores, fresh veggie kabobs, burgers, dutch oven stews, pudgie pies, etc.
- It's an opportunity for the entire family to unplug and get away from distractions at home.
- You all get to sleep next to each other (if you go the tent route) AKA "Family Cuddle Time".
- Naps. Doesn't everyone take naps while camping?
- The memories literally last a lifetime. Camping and other outdoor adventures are what most people can easily recall with fondness (or humor over trips-gone-wrong) years later.
- The opportunity to run free and explore without time constraints makes children more aware of their surroundings and life happening around them.
- It helps teach basic survival skills (starting a fire, gathering wood, etc.) and therefore problem solving skills.
- Camping helps children connect better to nature and the earth, helping instill a desire to take care of it.
- It provides an opportunity to assign small tasks for even the smallest of campers which in turn gives them ownership of the camp and encourages a higher self esteem.
- You are never too old for camping — it's a great thing to do with friends or family members of all different ages.
- It's a family bonding opportunity with naturally occurring invitations to work and play together.
- It's a great excuse for family exercise — hiking, boating, fishing, walking or just exploring.
- It (meaning the fresh air) reduces stress levels
- Camping teaches family members to just "go with the flow" as inevitable challenges arise (an unforeseen rainstorm, a forgotten sleeping bag, etc.)
**Join us 6pm EDT/3pm PDT Thursday 5/22/14 on Twitter for #STPlive as we chat about family camping (tips and tricks, questions answered and more about why it should be at the top of your bucket list this summer.)
The stars are calling — go camping!