Our family was never big on the outdoors but as my children came along I realized we needed to get more active. We started going to parks, hiking and on nature walks.
Since we were having such a great time with all our outdoor activities we took an even bigger step as a family and decided we would try out camping. This is something none of us had ever done before so we had to study up on what type of tent we needed and what we needed in the way of supplies. We started looking into state parks in our area and we were so surprised at how many state parks there actually are!
We picked one within a couple hours of home to start just in case we found out we were not the camping types. The children were absolutely delighted to be eating and sleeping out of doors. I was a little less excited but I found it was not as hard as I imagined. We were smart enough to get a camp site near the facilities which made everything much easier.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. We could get up and walk over to the lake and fish or head out on the nature trail or get on our bikes and take a ride. There were also other sights in the area that we could hop in the car and go visit.
I guarantee camping is always a bonding experience for families as well. Anytime you spend the night all in one room, eat together, and generally rough it you are going to get closer. Even if your experience is less than perfect it will serve as a topic of conversation long into the future. Even if it is not laughable when it happens nine times out of ten it will be a few years later. We sure have had our bonding moments over the years!
If you are really unsure about camping a really good idea to start out would be to set up the tent in your back yard and give it a try. It is good to see if the kids are ready to camp outside in the dark and also to see if you have everything you need for a real camping trip. Sometimes you never know what you will need until you actually get in the situation. My spouse was not really up on the whole camping thing; they said their idea of camping was a hotel. But we gave it a try and they decided it was not so bad.
Camping and being outdoors together as a family is a great way to grow closer and experience new things together. Try it on your next vacation and see how it goes.
Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.