Family camping: For some people, saying this word sends you into a mini panic. Sleeping bags? Bugs? And don’t even get me started on the dirt!
But hold on and keep reading. There are some very good reasons why you and your family should give camping a try.
Camping is a wonderful family memory maker. It is a special time for your family to be together without the distractions of cell phones, devices, and television. When you take those things away you will be surprised at how many conversations you have with each other! There are so many opportunities to engage your children while camping as you all explore God’s creation. And don’t think that camping is always a long, arduous trip with lots of supplies. One of our children’s fondest memories was the time we set up a tent in the backyard for a night. We had a newborn so didn’t want to travel quite yet but we cooked dinner on our grill, had a campfire in a portable fire pit, roasted marshmallows, star watched, and played games. It was very easy to do and they talked about that night for years.
Camping is also a very economical way to get away! Most campsites are very affordable and can accommodate everything from tent camping to large RV’s. And food can be simple! One of our favorite dishes is what we call Camp Tacos. I pre-make taco meat and freeze it. Freezing it is useful because it keeps other things in the cooler cold as the meat slowly thaws. All I have to do is heat it up in a pan and then we pull out tortilla chips and tortillas, grated cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and any other toppings. Our family can choose to make a taco, nachos, or a taco salad. And using disposable plates makes cleaning up easy peasy!
Another treat that we make while camping is Camp Donuts. We roll refrigerated dough into small balls, fry in a pan of oil, and then shake in a plastic bag with powdered sugar. Older children love rolling the dough and younger ones can shake the cooled donuts in the bags.
Camping is also lots of fun with other families. We camp at least once a year with a group of friends and divide up the meals and plan ahead of time. A couple of families are in charge of breakfast, lunch is each family on their own, and then the other two families are in charge of dinner. All the children love going on hikes with each other, the parents enjoy encouraging conversations with other adults, and we all try to come up with fun family games for the evenings.
And then finally, camping can be an extension of your homeschooling. Camping in State Parks can be very educational, but your local campgrounds are also places to learn. You can print off easy nature scavenger hunts, do leaf rubbings, identify trees and wildflowers and even bring some fun nature books to read by flashlight at the end of the day.
I hope this encourages you to try camping this year! It is a fun way to connect with your children and spouse, to get away from it all, and enjoy and revel in God’s beautiful creation. And remember, all that dirt will come out in the laundry wash!
Thank you to Charlotte G. @ Joyful Hearts and Faces for writing this Crew Article.
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