This is a guest post from my friend, Pasquale R. Mingarelli. Pasquale spent 11 years on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) and currently works as a Christian speaker, adjunct college instructor, and nature photographer. He posts a photo and Bible verse each day on his blog site visualverse.thecreationspeaks.com, where he also writes about encountering God in the outdoors. You can connect with Pasquale on Twitter.
People stay so connected these days that we actually stay more disconnected. The smart phone always seems to be far too near and the conversation with the person next to us seems to be so far away. Unfortunately, this battle with disconnected connectivity occurs in most families.
Electronic technology rips at our families. Many families set boundaries on its use, but it still finds ways to interrupt life. Technology does carry a lot of value, however finding time to completely escape from it carries many benefits. One way to experience these benefits is by taking family camping trips.
New scientific studies backup the compounding rewards camping adds to our modern, enclosed, sedentary lifestyle (source), (source), (source). For families, the benefits go beyond just the science. Here is a list of a few of them.
Downtime from electronic connectivity
Camping trips make for the perfect opportunity to lay aside electronic devices. In many campgrounds the devices won’t connect, so why not just turn them off completely. Adults experience less stress when we turn them off and kids make nature their toy with imaginations that come alive.
Camping builds family bonds by having to work together. So much about camping takes everyone lending a hand. Essential tasks like setting up camp and making meals take team work. And a day of camping never comes to an end until someone builds a fire. Renewed bonding occurs while munching on s’mores and hanging out around a campfire.
Connectivity with nature
Our kids loved to hike. They were on hiking trails with us before they could even walk. On one of our adventures to Minnesota, we went on a mushroom hike with a park guide. Our six-year old daughter loved finding the multitude of mushrooms that popped out of the forest. And would a little boy’s life be complete without skipping rocks across a creek or lake?
Connectivity with natural wonders and people of the past
Camping road trips make for a great way to experience historic places and natural wonders. My family and I had a memorial encounter with a herd of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park. While parked on high mountain road to watch the sunset, a large herd of female elk and their calves wandered through just a few yards in front of us. It made a memory and experience one just can’t get in Disney World.
Connectivity with God
God reveals Himself to us through His creation. Romans 1:20 tells His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature can be understood through what has been made. When we spend time in the outdoors with our our families, we can use nature as a tool to point to God’s attributes. Nature also provides the perfect quiet place to teach our children how to spend alone time with God.
Whether in a tent, camper or cabin, both summer and fall make for good time to camp. Where would you and your family like to go?