Friday, March 21, 2014

Desert Survivor's Get-Out-And-Camp Challenge

 I've mentioned before that I didn't camp much as a kid, just at Girl Scout Camp. But that was enough to entice me to camp more, and over the years I've spent many nights out on the ground. Last year I decided to set a little challenge for myself: Could the kids and I camp out ten nights? We didn't have any grand plan, but starting at spring break and running through the summer and into the autumn, we managed to camp out thirteen times. The kids absolutely loved it.

Desert Boy declared last week that we should do a Get-Out-And-Camp Challenge again, but this year up our nights to twelve.

Will you join us?

Choose how many nights you want to camp out this year, write it down or tell someone (a comment here or on Facebook is fine!), and then see if you can meet your goal.

 Last year we camped in all sorts of places, from structured campgrounds to campsites out in the boonies. We even slept in our backyard a couple nights, just because it's fun.

Why camp out?
Here are a few reasons.

1. Camping out gives you time to unwind. We live in such a hectic world, rushing from one thing to the next, that slowing down to listen to the birds sing in the morning or watching the stars move overhead can recharge our batteries.

2. Camping lets you concentrate on your relationships. Camp in a place without Internet or cell service, and you can stop texting and checking Facebook and Twitter and really focus on the people who are with you. Camping is a super way to deepen relationships.

3. Camping is cheap. Want to take a vacation but not spend much money? Camping can be the way to do it! Last fall we stayed a couple nights in Zion Canyon--right in the heart of the national park, with outstanding views. It was less than $20 a night, but oh, so beautiful. Many camping spots are a real deal--you get the fantastic location for just a few bucks.

 4. Camp food can be awesome. When do you eat a s'more? That's usually a treat reserved for camping! Camping often means special foods, whether simple or complicated. Dutch oven recipes, hot dogs roasting over a fire, or even ramen noodles all taste extra good when eaten outside.

5. Kids (and adults) learn how to deal with different situations. What's that strange noise outside the tent at night? What do you do during a huge downpour? What happens if the wind blows your tent over? Is it a good idea to play flashlight tag?

6. Camping is a time to learn more about the natural world around us. It really wasn't so long ago that we humans didn't have much shelter and camped all the time. There's something still imprinted in our DNA that calls us to live that way. Ever been in a group of people and suddenly there's a lull in all the conversations? Predator check. That's right, our DNA is imprinted to have us be quiet every once in awhile to become more aware of what's around us. 

So I hope you'll join us in the Get-Out-And-Camp Challenge! You decide how many nights you want to camp out (and it doesn't have to be in a tent--right under the stars or in an RV are totally fine!), and challenge yourself to do it. Happy camping!


Anonymous said...

We're shooting for about once a month from May through September. That may be overly optimistic with a baby in tow!


phil said...

after all the years with the exployers (BSA) I think ill pass we spent many summers with that group camping all over the Country. Some of our fondest memories. Some of the Group still does it with their families and I'm glad we instilled in them the fun of being outdoors. I think you would have loved that group.

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