Bringing your kids on a camping trip can seem daunting, and it clearly isn’t for everyone. But kids that do go on camping trips can learn valuable life lessons that are applicable far from the bonfires and trail mix.
Here, we present 13 lessons that kids can learn on a camping trip.
1. Be Prepared
Anyone who’s been camping knows that a trip can turn miserable quickly if you aren’t prepared. Allowing kids to help prepare and pack food, sleeping bags, tents, sun protection, and other necessities — or suffer the consequences if something is forgotten — can be a great crash course in thinking ahead.
2. Nature Is Enough
A camping trip is a perfect opportunity to teach kids basic safety and survival tips. This can have a long-lasting impact, as kids will be prepared and able to live off the land and be self-sufficient in finding what they need.
3. Adults Have Some Cool Stories To Tell
For many kids, the slower pace of camping can give them the time to really listen to the adults around them. Whether it’s a dad telling his son about the fishing trips he took with his dad or an aunt reciting a spooky campfire story, kids can learn the value (and fun) of listening to adults.
4. It’s Okay To Ask For Help
Some parts of camping can be difficult. Whether it’s chopping wood or pitching a tent, kids will learn that it’s okay to ask for help.
5. Teamwork Is Necessary
Not only is it okay to ask for help, but often it’s necessary. Camping trips can be a great example of how much easier things can be when everyone works together.
6. Leave Every Place Cleaner Than You Found It
The Boy Scout Rule doesn’t only apply to boy scouts. Learning to leave the campsite cleaner than they found it can help condition kids’ brains to leave other places cleaner than they found them. If we’re lucky, this extends to their homes!
7. The World Goes Further Than The End Of Your Nose
Kids aren’t always known for being observant or even aware of the world around them. Disconnecting from electronics and schedules for a camping trip can give kids the opportunity to really see the world around them and recognize their place in it.
8. Silence Isn’t Scary
A camping trip can be a great time for kids to learn to listen — not to parents or teachers, but to silence. Teaching kids early how to respect and appreciate silence can be hugely beneficial.
9. Be Flexible
Sometimes things don’t go the way we plan, and that’s okay! Camping trips can allow kids to see us adapt and adjust to problems with our plans, teaching them to do the same.
10. Look Before You Jump
Whether it’s checking for snakes before picking up firewood or looking for rocks before pitching a tent, camping requires a lot of thinking ahead. Kids may learn this from watching you or figure it out the hard way.
11. You Can Create Cool Things
Camping trips are full of opportunities to create — building the perfect s’more or crafting the perfect campfire allows kids to feel and practice the power of creating new things.
12. Don’t Take Anything For Granted
It only takes one meal where you couldn’t get a fire started to really appreciate the resources available to you every day, and kids can come to that same realization.
13. Learning Can Be Fun
Often, kids are stuck in a classroom so often that they forget how much fun it can be to learn new things. Camping trips are a great opportunity to revive that sense of wonder, whether it’s identifying tracks near your campsite or seeing how fast it takes a hotdog to burn.
Take Them, Teach Them
Take your kids camping and see what they learn. Because sometimes, it is all fun and games — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.