Camping! It's Great for Families

Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of every day—running the kids to soccer, working late, and feeling like you're meeting yourself coming and going? Maybe it's time for a getaway with the family. Instead of your typical vacation spot, consider taking your family camping.

Nine reasons to grab the kids and head for the nearest campground:

  1. Reconnect with your kids. Find out details you might not know, like who their lunch buddies were this year, which teacher drove them nuts, who they had a crush on, etc. Take time to sit around the campfire, chat, and sing silly songs.

  2. De-stress. You'll feel the muscles in your shoulders relax if you allow yourself to unwind. Sit in your favorite lawn chair and listen to the sounds of nature. You'll feel like you've spent some time at a spa and be reenergized for a fraction of the cost. The best part is the whole family gets the same results.

  3. Make memories. Take along a camera and capture moments to share with family members and friends. Your kids will enjoy the pictures and remember the camping adventure for a lifetime.

  4. Have fun. Make s'mores, go fishing, hike up the hill to a waterfall. Bird watch, create nature collages, and make plaster casts of animal prints you can identify in a book.. Let your kids see the fun side of you. See the humor in things that happen. Unexpected things can be the most memorable.

  5. Empower your daughter. Encourage her to show off skills she's learned at camp by letting her build a fire (with supervision) or demonstrate her expertise at preparing a one-pot meal.

  6. Involve the family. While you take the initiative for planning this outing, give everyone a job and involve them in decisions. Let the kids explore camping by visiting Web sites for your state and county parks.

  7. Honor family time. Celebrate this time of being together as a family and having uninterrupted quality time. Take along board games and grab the Frisbee. Enjoy each others' company.

  8. Meet new people. Walk around the camping area and get to know your fellow campers. You'll find you have much in common and can develop life-long camping friendships.

  9. It's an adventure. There's no time like the present to plan a camping trip they'll never forget. Start out by pitching a tent in the backyard then progressing to an organized camping area. Campsites are safe; many have facilities and are affordable. Take advantage of what you pay taxes for!