This is not an exhaustive list, but rather the starting point of the conversation, of why we like camping with our children. Camping is our untethered, minimalist, intentional family time. Creating the love of learning and adventure is the reason we camp with our children.
Simplicity – We only bring what matters most when camping. In a world of over-consumption, it helps us and our children know what matters most. If we are never asked to be with less, it is easy to think we need everything. We pack a limited wardrobe, lots of healthy food and snacks, and no toys. The itinerary is short and the obligations are none. There is no need for control of any situation and there are no expectations. We can go with the flow, and move as the spirit moves us. In other words, our egos are not invited along on our camping trips.
Closeness & Vastness – Popular opinion makes us think bigger is better, and that everyone needs their own space. We have found that our children love the closeness that camping gives. They love sleeping together “like the olden days,” as they fondly refer to it. Their space is the outdoors in the vastness of the woods, the lakes, and the mountains.
Communication & Conversation – Camping offers opportunities for real communication and conversation. It is untethered and unplugged communication with the ones we are with. It is real conversations about the circle of life, the changes in seasons, and the waning and waxing moons. With less distractions and interferences, the ego stays at bay and the spirit plays.
Present Moment – Nature only knows one time – the present. In Nature, we are not concerned with the disappointments of the past or the anxieties of the future. We are here and now, in the present moment. What a gift to our spirits!
Doing what we love & loving what we do (and our children witness it) – We incorporate our favorite activities into camping. When we are uninhibited and unguarded, we are most authentic and hence, most grounded and peaceful. Hubby loves to fish and tinker; I love to bike and run, write, and cook. These are not extra-curricular, but who we are. Camping supercharges our creative juices. It allows us to create our own experiences rather than buy them. It is the non-commercialized rendition of having it all.
Kids can be kids – Camping allows kids to be kids – adventurers, explorers, and yes, even dirty. My children play in the sand, dig in the dirt, collect rocks, make tree forts, build campfires, and bury dead animals. And in the abundance of nature, there is plenty for all and no need to fight over a broken stick. While camping, I see the essence of my children. They have compassion for the wounded bird and see the beauty in granite moss.
Our greatest purpose for camping with our children is to instill these healthy habits early in life. When we allow our children to be in touch with their essences, they will grow into adults that know how to live their spirits. Camping is an intentional activity for our family.
Camping can be a vacation far from home or a staycation near home. It is a mindset and a state of being not doing. I put this in print to help me see for myself the benefits we experience from camping as a family. My intention is to incorporate these same soul enriching activities into our daily lives.
The essence of camping is fuel for the soul – connecting the mind, body, and spirit. It can be incorporated anywhere, anytime. So let’s go camping.