Would you like a week off with no rooms to clean? How about a week off from most of your cooking? Or maybe a week off from distractions that keep everyone preoccupied?
Sound good? Then maybe it’s time to plan a camping trip!
No cleaning, no cooking, no distractions– these are just a few of my favorite benefits of getting away and camping together. I don’t have to clean the tent. The majority of the cooking is my husband’s responsibility. And even if I was tempted to “plug-in”, it’s not even an option.
The benefits of camping are more manifold than chore avoidance though. The essence of camping isn’t so much a vacation from daily life as it is a vacation to the oasis of nature. When you camp, you have each other and the beauty of creation.
Adults and children alike need opportunities to be in creation. Being in the natural world satisfies needs, both the ones we readily see and the ones we didn’t realize we had.
Consider a day we spent at Mt. Mitchell last year. When else can you test your body’s limits to reach the summit of a mountain, taste the perfect marriage of tart and sweet from wild blackberries, and be filled with wonder at the delicate design of lichen clinging to a tree and the grandeur of a breathtaking vista in a single day?
And all of this points to the wisdom and magnificence of our Creator. We are physically and mentally refreshed from being in nature, yes. But even more, our needs for beauty, wonder, and delight are met in observing creation and rejoicing in God’s glory. This practice of seeing God in His creation is one we should be passing along to our children too.
“All of this God created for us to experience so that we could enjoy more fully the life that he prepared for us to know. He did not intend for these things to bring us fulfillment in themselves but to point beyond, to the Artist himself, in order to affirm his magnificence, his power, and his kindness and generosity in making our lives so full. He gave us a richly created world to help us know him better.”
Sally Clarkson, Mission of Motherhood
You don’t have to camp to experience nature.
But the act of spending all of your time outside heightens the experience and elevates it to another level.
Even if we could afford a week in a hotel or condo (which we can’t) I would choose to go camping. My husband and I are on the same page about this– we want to camping to be a family tradition.
If you want to be a camping family but don’t know where to start or think that you have to wait until your kids are older, let this series be a help and an encouragement to give camping a try.
It may not be for everyone. But it may just be something you discover you love. Don’t just write it off as impossible, horrible, or just for other families more granola than you.
It can be done.
With small children.
A Week In The Woods: 5 Part Series on Camping
Part 1: Just Go!
Is yours a camping family? What do you love about camping?