We hadn’t been camping in years so I was excited when KOA asked me to stay at one of their campgrounds! This is a sponsored post for Mom It Forward. The opinions stated are my own.
Have you ever seen The Wilderness Family? It’s a really fun movie that makes roughing it look like an extremely rewarding experience. And it is! Maybe that’s why millions of people go camping each year.
It’s not just about what you do when you camp that makes it exciting. What you learn sticks with you. Don’t you remember almost every camping trip you went on when you were a child? I do!
There are so many things to learn while camping, like how to set up the camp site, how to start a fire, how to cook, and the list goes on.
Each family camps differently; there is no right or wrong way. But, no matter how you camp, doing those things transfers even deeper lessons.
What’s Behind the Yellow Sign?
We camped at the KOA in Mountain Home, Idaho. It was so easy to book my stay online to make sure I got exactly what I wanted. While there, we got to stay in a one room cabin. This was perfect for a family like ours with very young children. We have a 5 month old baby and I wasn’t ready for tent camping even though there are great tent areas and even a Tipi.
Our cabin had a full sized bed, bunkbeds and came with wifi, air conditioning, and a heater just in case. The showers and restrooms were just a few paces away which made it easy to clean up after a full day of exploring.
Values Children Learn From Camping
After arriving at our cabin and getting settled in, character training started right away
Meet and Greet
The playground was right across from our cabin so naturally that was the first thing the kids wanted to do.
Swinging, sliding, spinning to their hearts’ content, my children were immediately greeted by our friendly campground neighbors. The merry-go-round was a hot spot and the children behaved beautifully with their new friends, my daughter volunteering to help push and everyone politely stopping the thing when others wanted to get on. Sharing, cooperating, and empathizing was their first lesson.
Soon, it was time to say good by to their friends as dinner time snuck up on us.
Exploring Something New
As my husband finished cooking on the grill, I helped the kids up into the tree right outside our cabin. They weren’t too high up, but it was enough to make my son a little weary. The longer he stayed in the tree however, the more comfortable he became.
His sisters helped him feel more comfortable as they cautioned him if he was getting too close to the edge and reassuring him when a weird looking bug caught him off guard. Confidence and independence was nurtured in their second lesson.
Let Them Go
After eating, we were relaxing in the swing on the porch of our cabin. The kids desperately wanted to go back to the playground, but with full bellies, my husband and I weren’t too keen.
So we let them go by themselves.
We gave our eldest the reigns and put her in charge of her two younger siblings. Hand-in-hand they walked to the play ground and beamed with excitement. We could see them from the front porch of our cabin, but it was far enough away that our children felt like they were on their own.
Audrey did a fantastic job leading her siblings and took real ownership as their caretaker. It was really rewarding to watch as responsibility was instilled in their final lesson.
There are so many more values and character building opportunities for children when you go on a camping trip. The next time you go out, make sure you check out KOA and other families’ experiences. With over 485 locations, you’re sure to find one close to you. Download the KOA phone app so you’ll always know where a safe, family friendly campsite is.
To read more about all things camping, visit the KOA blog or follow Kampgrounds of America on Facebook.
Where is your favorite place to camp?
*I received a complimentary stay at a KOA via Kampgrounds of America.
Melissa P. says
Since my family didn’t have much money most of our vacations involved camping, and those are some of my favorite childhood memories. Long days around my family and filled with fun!
Our favorite place to camp is at Splash Magic in Northumberland, PA 🙂
Cindy Ray says
Aw all these thing sound like things my kids would enjoy doing. Climbing trees, having adventures, playing at the park. Sounds like the kids had a ton of fun 🙂
Wes Sydenstricker says
We love to camp in the rustic areas at our state parks in MI.
It would a very new experience for us – looks fantastic!
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Amber Mejia says
We love to camp, just get the tent and supplies and we are on our way!
Li Er Hanson says
Not to mention the possibility of unplugging, spending time in close quarters and having only each other for amusement.
Heather McKenzie Carter says
We typically go camping at Ft. Ancient in Ohio, or HOcking Hills in Ohio. We like to stay near home- and canoe, kayak etc. We often get a babysitter for just the younger kids (under 3) so its nice to be able to get away for a couple nights without being TOO far away from them.
Hilarye Fuller says
This was so sweet and I have younger kids too and can appreciate that this would be an easier option to camp with them!
Hilarye Fuller recently posted…Children’s eBook To Encourage Good Behavior On Airplanes
Camping is one of the best family bonding times!
Shannon Kemp says
My kids have learned how important it is to help others and work together while camping. Whether it’s our family or someone we just met while camping. Everyone really seems to come together to help each other out!
Jill Carroll says
I have never KOA’ed but I’d LOVE to try!!
Precia B says
I think the best thing you can take away from a camping trip is a good moral compass:)
Stephanie T says
Family time AND building independence in a safe place for kids- I love it!
Justine Burgess says
really want to take my little guy camping!
Michelle Elizondo says
My kids would love an experience like this.
Lori K. says
Great post! We have a young child too and I would love to take him camping to learn these important lessons!
Leigh Anne Borders says
I think there is nothing more rewarding than camping with your children. In this day and age with all that is available to take us away form one another, when you are camping you can;t help but be brought closer together. It si important to reconnect.
Camping can be such a positive experience for families. I have some very happy memories of camping myself.
Cassandra Eastman says
We have little ones too so camping in cabins is just so much easier, and more fun 🙂 We’ll definitely have to camp at KOA on our next trip!
Holly E says
Our family loves camping. It’s always so much fun.
Brittney Merck says
We love camping with our children.
Dandi D says
I really wish I could go camping with my family. It would be such a great experience!
Tina Bredbury says
Great thoughts, and I want those smores!
Jill McHale says
It’s always a good thing when you can get away from the hustle and bustle and get back to nature.