What Camping Can Teach Your Teenager
Spending time outdoors in the warmer months requires some forethought, but spending an entire evening or more can require valuable life skills that won’t be taught on their own. If you want to ensure your kids will learn practical knowledge about basic survival, camping overnight is a great way to teach them lessons that will carry on throughout their lives, be it in the outdoors or in their careers.
Learning to prepare, and strategize. Where you are going to camp, how long it will take to get there, and what food will be available is all part of the preparation it takes to plan a successful overnight outdoor trip. Get your teen involved in the process from day one. Ask them to go to the store for supplies, or use the Internet to scout out the location beforehand, so you know what to expect.
Instigate teamwork with specific tasks at the campsite. Assigning everyone a task, parents and children included, will not only make setting up your site a quick process, but will also teach the importance of working together towards a common goal. Gather firewood, set up the tent, or starting dinner can all be things your teen can take charge of while spending time with the family.
Take them out of their comfort zone to build adaptivity skills. These days it’s so easy for even younger kids to be tied into every aspect of their lives constantly with technology. Escaping these constant reminders of school and life stress, even just for one evening, can be a huge relief. This is one the main benefits of sending your kids to Wilderness Camps. It forces them to unplug for longer periods of time, and really reconnect with who they are outside of the social media persona they put out for the world to see.
Gathering around the campfire at night improves communication skills. Learning not only when to speak, but when to listen is an important life skill that not every child can grasp for a long time. Teenagers especially feel they need to be heard, but are not particularly great at listening to other’s views as well. Taking the time for each member of the family to say something about what they are enjoying about their trip or their lives with each other, without interruption, is a great way to teach how to speak and how to listen when it is needed.
Bumps, bruises and scrapes can teach basic first aid. While camping on well-known sites is often not very treacherous, the fact that nature can be very unpredictable is always a good excuse to learn basic first aid. Learning how to dress small wounds or sprains if they happen to occur while away from civilization is great life skill to acquire. Always be sure to bring some way to communicate with authorities if necessary, but a small cut that is properly cleaned should not ruin your trip.