Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Episode Thirty Six: Go Camping

Man, this one seems so obvious, I can't believe I haven't written this before. Or have I?

Every year my family (and my in-laws) go camping at a camp ground not far from where we live. It's about 40 minutes drive away but on the other side of the harbour so it feels like we've gone away but still close enough to race home and get the things we've forgotten.

Camping when I was little was being in a nylon pup tent on a bare piece of land on the West Coast of the North Island. Foam mattresses, solar showers and instant pudding. However, these days we camp a bit more comfortably with a powered site, the modern creature comforts and maybe a few luxury items in the chilly bin. The point being however you camp (glamping or roughing it), it's an awesome experience for your children.

The main thing I like is how the everyday household processes are broken down right in front of your children. They see how much effort it takes to make dinner using a gas stove or how much of a hassle it is to do dishes in the communal kitchen. It gets them to think about how easy things are at home and how much is done for them. It does for my kids anyway! There is always a look of realisation on their faces as they get to see all the steps of doing the laundry first-hand - not hidden in a room at the other end of the house.

Sure, there's the cool parts like spending all day on the beach riding waves and making sandcastles. There is the ecstasy of flopping into bed at the end of a hard day running around the sand dunes. There is the squelch of mud between your toes as you hunt for crabs. Those are the things that memories are made of. However as a father I love using camping as a way to give them a 'behind the scenes' of domesticated life and to use that to challenge them. Push them into doing more around the place. Weird huh.

Whether you're a strange person like me who uses camping to show his children how good they've got it, or as a way to leave the hustle of every day life behind, taking your children camping is so good for them. To get back to basics and get amongst nature, leave the screens behind and have some good quality family time.

What does camping look like for you? Leave a comment, I'm interested.

Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Camping for me is; away with family and friends, cooking on a portable gas cooker or portable bbq, tents/old building, sleeping bags, no schedule, quiet drinks, fire pit, camping chairs, silly games, swimming! :)