Camping - the quintessential family trip of reconnecting. Reconnecting with each other, with nature and with oneself.
I’d always liked the idea of getting back to the basics, but in a hectic life that already involved daily planning, packing and organising, the sheer work involved in the preparation of a camping trip had always stopped the idea. And I’m first to admit that I’m ‘that’ wife that would inject snide, princess remarks into my husband’s fond recollections of his childhood camping trips. Proudly resonating with Facebook memes of “Camping - how to spend thousands so you can live like a homeless person”.
But in spite of me and to the utter shock of my husband, when invited to a long weekend camping for a friend’s 40th, I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically said we should go. Admittedly I knew there were showers, power and toilets on the property, so while my family could be self-sufficient, I could be a princess if need be! But I was willing to suck it up and give it a good go!
D-Day comes around way too quickly and as usual we’re trying to pack and get ready all last minute. I’ve already started whinging and questioning why we put so much work and emotional stress into going away to relax. I just didn’t see the point in it. Couldn’t we just stay in a hotel and lie by the pool?
BUT it is now midday on our second day here and I get it - I REALLY get it! We are here with about 5 other families of whom I knew one before the trip. Miss 6 was up playing with her new friends by 6am this morning, and I’ve seen her for about 30 minutes for breakfast. Mstr 8 and Mstr 3 are equally involved with their new mates - hide ‘n’ seek, fort construction and general rough and tumble.
My point? Not much active parenting needed - and - no screen or device has been mentioned or thought about - by the adults or the children. Happy children learning, socialising, helping, thoughtful and well-behaved.
By default of living in a large city, my children are not uncommon in being bought up in a much more insulated environment than I was - let alone that of my parents. To unplug (both literally and metaphorically) from our digitally-drenched life has been the ultimate unwind.
Is the organising, planning, packing and unpacking worth it? For the zen and the smiles … ABSOLUTELY! So if you're a non camper of live with one - I challenge you to look at the process with a different eye and give it a go!
~ Just one small change ~