Summer vacation is over and the kids are officially back in school. For many parents, that’s a relief with all the activities that summer can bring.
I hope to encourage parents to not let the spirit of summer end—continue to plan those camping and RVing trips with your kids as often as you can throughout the school year.
There are so many valuable life lessons children can learn from camping. Some of which they aren’t guaranteed to learn in school.
1. It Takes Teamwork
Planning a road trip is not easy, and kids usually just show up and enjoy all the benefits. Include your child in the organizing, preparing, and set up of your camping trip.
Show them how each person has a special role. It takes a lot of teamwork to get on the road and settled into a campground. Allow your children to have an important job and teach them about working together to make the fun happen.
2. Connect With and Respect Nature
Nature is truly the best classroom. There are living things and creatures to discover everywhere. The best learning takes place in a natural setting, and it doesn’t get more natural than camping.
Allow your child to explore. Teach them about the beauty that surrounds you and the abundance of life.
National parks are a great place to do this. They have lots of educational opportunities, including junior ranger programs, tours, videos, and interactive signs. Most importantly, though, children learn the importance of protecting and respecting nature and animals.
Other great ways to teach them this important life lesson include keeping your campsite and parks clean, respecting the animals that are around, and finding peace in the great outdoors.
3. How to be Flexible With Plans
RVing is full of challenges. Whether it’s traffic or detours on the road, a part that breaks, or the general maintenance that comes up, there’s always a possibility of unexpected events and situations. Weather is another factor that can interrupt your plans.
Be a role model for how to react in these situations. It helps teach your child how to handle obstacles. Show them how to “roll with the punches” and make the best of every moment during your trip. Teach them how to handle and solve problems appropriately and responsibly. This is one of life’s most important lessons because life doesn’t often go the way you plan it to.
4. The Benefits of Unplugging
Classrooms and homes are full of technology. Children are becoming more and more reliant on them for every day use. Camping is a great time to unplug and find entertaining activities other than iPads and video games.
There is so much fun to have outdoors—hiking, biking, kayaking, the list goes on. This not only shows them the value of exercise and outdoor activity, but it allows your kids to connect with family in a more meaningful way.
Having conversations around the campfire, going on a family walk, or just relaxing in a hammock together while reading a book are perfect examples of making the most out of a technology-free camping trip.
5. Our Nation’s History
Not only will your child learn about nature and animals, but they will also likely learn a lot about our country in general. Exploring new places allows them to have new perspectives and expand their horizons. It’s easy to get stuck in our tiny bubbles within our hometowns and neighborhoods and forget to venture outside of our comfort zones.
Having this exposure is so important to your child’s development. They learn to better understand the world and its diversity. Nearly everywhere you go, there’s a museum, landmark, historical site, or interesting piece of art or culture that is filled with knowledge and fascinating stories. This type of learning is so much more fun than reading about it in a textbook.
These five life lessons are just a few of the benefits an RV camping trip can offer your entire family. So, start planning out your child’s breaks from school now. Give them the opportunity to explore and grow. There are kid-friendly campgrounds with wonderful amenities all over the country, making it easy for kids and parents alike to have plenty of fun.
What lessons do you want your kids to learn? Leave a comment below.