Every year 40 million Americans go camping. It is a wonderful way to see the country, have inexpensive and great fun for all the family. A study done by the Plymouth Institute of Education found that 98% of parents said that going camping helped their children to enjoy and connect with nature. A staggering 95% of them said that their children were happier when camping. And the best thing is that camping leaves very little carbon footprint – it is a great way to have a sustainable holiday. Here are some great tips to make your first family trip really special.
Enjoy some Wi-Fi-free entertainment
One of the most wonderful things about camping is spending quality time outdoors with your family, without the internet. Living in a sustainable way means reducing your impact on the environment, you certainly don’t need to pollute the atmosphere or use up electricity with campfire entertainment. You can easily spend a happy evening playing cards, using acorns to make simple wagers. Charades, Pictionary and simple word games will go down well with the children. Create a campsite scavenger hunt – give the kids a list of things to find such as chestnuts, crunchy leaves, a stone that looks like a face or a yellow flower. When it is bedtime, tell campfire stories and sing songs. These are precious times, and you can use your camping trip to create some great memories for free that don’t involve social media or Netflix.
Get everyone involved with the cooking
Having a barbecue or cooking over the campfire is a great way to get everyone involved in the cooking. You can even forage for some of the food, such as nuts, berries, fruit, and mushrooms. It is a great opportunity to show the younger members of the family how to live a sustainable lifestyle. They will enjoy helping with the little jobs too, such as buttering the bread or preparing vegetables. Family mealtimes present a great chance to build relationships. For instance, a study done by Columbia University found that 71% of teenagers said that the best part of having a family meal was catching up, talking and spending time with other family members. Cooking a meal together will give everyone a great sense of achievement and then sitting together you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Enjoy the nighttime
One thing you will notice when you’re camping is how dark it gets at night – there is less light pollution when you are sleeping outdoors, without street lights. Children will love identifying constellations, such as Orion and the Big Dipper. You don’t need a telescope or any special equipment to see the stars either. At night, listen out with your children for all the wildlife you can hear, such as owls, crickets and the fluttering of bats wings. There is so much nature all around you, so make the most of it.
Camping with your family is a really special time. Your children will remember their first trip with great fondness.