Visiting a breath-taking hill-station in the summers with your family is a time to cherish and create memories. The winter break is another great opportunity to go insane on the beaches and coastal lines. Now, what if I told you that your kids needed time off to enjoy the same locations with friends? Is that too outrageous? Or, does that completely sounds normal to your ears?
Parents are unnecessarily protective and too proactive on kid’s safety concerns. But kids need time to breathe independently and explore the unknown like Georgina in The Famous Five novel series of Enid Blyton. And this not-so-impossible scenario is possible only in the absence of parents supervision.
While camping is still a new concept in India (although there are many grown-up campers in the country), parents need to gear up to let go their children camping and excavate ideas and experiences with a fresh pair of eyes.
Camping detrimental for a child– as per a few parents
It’s funny, but a large proportion of parents do not permit children on camping trips because of irrational reasons.
Many agencies, arranging camps for children, receive bizarre yet amusing excuses from parents, for not sending their children for camping. Parents argue that in the absence of an “adult” (where an adult is a parent, not camping agent), children get free access to perform unacceptable activities.
Particular concerns are sketched around teenagers, who get the undue liberty to mushroom romance in the name of camping. In fact, teens are assumed to be a bad influence on each other, forcing habits like underage smoking and drinking.
No denying, such incidents are bound to happen if kids are independently camping. But the case is entirely opposite with seasoned camping agencies. They not only have enough provisions to keep children safe but ensure kids security and discipline in all aspects.
If you see the broader picture, a camp is the best playground to learn and unlearn and make and correct mistakes under adult supervision. The idea of tasting freedom in an administered environment is a beautiful experience for any child.
So, here are the 5 sensible and solid reasons to send your child for their first camping trip.
1. A rendezvous with nature
Sadly, today’s city dwellers are incapable of receiving the kindness and magnificence of nature. And, kids are a special case because they are so glued to their gadgets, that stepping outside the house itself is an achievement.
Modern-day tech-savvy kids need to see beyond their artificially made parks and gardens. They ought to come face-to-face with the raw and pristine beauty of nature. The biodiversity and the flora & fauna offered by mother earth are worth experiencing.
Most camping activities consist of trekking, hiking, nature trails, and other similar activities to reconnect kids with the ecosystem.
After witnessing the miraculous phenomenon of nature, children grow to be more sustainable and responsible social animals. Because only when one feels the aura of mother nature, can the thoughts of preserving earth’s precious elements root in the person’s mind.
2. How to do this without Mommy?
Camping grounds do not encourage nagging kids. In fact, children who have been spoon-fed all their lives find it even more challenging to adapt to a new atmosphere all by themselves. Camping is all the more appealing for such kids, as it is the perfect way to loosen the “I want Mommy” attitude and learn to solve problems by themselves.
Simple tasks like organizing the bed, packing the backpack, cleaning utensils, and helping a friend in crisis, produce a self-reliant child.
Also, if a child learns to cater to issues and handle situations independently, it automatically boosts their self-esteem.
3. Change in perception
Tell me if I am wrong, but a school syllabus does not teach the fundamental skills of life. Does it?
Often, due to the bookish language and uncountable thumb rules, a child is unable to think beyond the box and restrict their thought-process to theoretical knowledge. However, to survive in this unpredictable and ruthless world, a child needs to learn a bit more than the theories.
Out in the wild, a kid is exposed to new challenges and brand-new people. During the course of camping, every thought and assumption gets tested. Realization dawns that there is no one way of doing the same thing. Right from lighting the bonfire to preparing Maggie, every activity can be tweaked according to a new method.
Not only activities but exchanging ideas on a campsite definitely impacts the child’s overall mentality, develops an open-minded child.
4. Incredible playground for networking
No doubt, campsites are a blessing for the social butterflies looking for infinite opportunities to mingle with unknown people. But did you know that introverts too, change into extroverts after camping multiple times?
Loners cannot stay lonely on a campground. Either they get disturbed or are forced to participate in every activity. And that’s precisely when a child starts expressing to fellow kids in the campsite.
5. Unplugged from the digital world
Chasing the butterflies, waking up to the sound of birds, learning to fish and catching a firefly, are a few moments one can only relish when they put their cell phones aside.
Children are insanely addicted to gizmos and gadgets, so much so that they are barely left with any time to enjoy the fantastic marvels of the world. No, we don’t recommend going cold turkey on children but using the device in moderation is what we advocate.
And, while you keep teaching the fundamental lessons of device usage, camping is bound to keep their phones down and help them appreciate the experiences in the wilderness.
Less noise and more music – a camper’s treasure
Exposing a child to the wonders of nature is the best gift a parent can award. No matter how many times your child says NO, one experience is all it takes to change their “No” to “Of course! I am doing it”.
The tranquillity of nature and the music of the countryside, are incomparable treasures that a very few get to experience in life. Next time your child gets an opportunity to visit a summer or winter camp, don’t get skeptical, say YES, and see the incredible change in your child’s attitude.
“Light a campfire, and everyone’s a storyteller” – John Geddes.