Seeing my 6 year old daughter, Elie watch Spongebob, pretending roasting marshmallows over the campfire and singing to “The Campfire Song” made me realize that I want her to experience what it is to enjoy life rather than just imagining it.

So I asked her if she wanted to go camping this weekend with her dad and I was happy to see the excitement on her face when she shouted, “Yes!” and started jumping on the couch.

We started preparing for everything we need - tents, sleeping bags, blankets, flashlights, lanterns, extra batteries and fuels, food-storage containers, water bottles, insect repellants, etc. to get ready for our first adventure.

The night before the big day, she helped me pack what’s in our “all camping stuff” checklist and went to bed early.

Our 2-day camping came to an end but the smile on her face is still there. “This weekend is the best, mom! I can’t wait to tell grandma and grandpa about it next week.” She uttered when we arrived home.

Besides for the obvious fact that it was a fun quality time well spent as a family, I learned that camping has a lot of benefits for my daughter. Her first camping experience taught her things she can’t learn in school.

Respect and love for nature.

Camping is a good way to be more connected to Mother Nature, learn and become creative. Children, by nature, love to explore. Letting Elie run free and discover the world around her allows her to learn things she can’t learn inside the classroom.

Survival skills.

Spending time in the wilderness helped her adapt to her environment and depend on herself. At an early age, she managed to eat on her own without a table and a chair, learned how to start a fire (and why it’s important not to play with it), build a tent and tie a knot.

Instills a sense of adventure.

I want my daughter to love adventure. Camping lets her explore and enjoy her environment, have a new experience and be one with nature.

Inspires an active lifestyle.

At an early age, I want Elie to learn how to ride a bike, swim and be active in sports rather than just sit on a couch and watch videos in an iPad. Camping has a lot of physical work - setting up a tent, exploring the campsite, swimming and collecting firewood. Being active at a younger age will make her continue this lifestyle when she grows up.

Above all, camping helped us become closer as a family.

As a mother, it is my dream to see my daughter to be happy and successful. Camping is hard work and I know to some moms, it can be a bit scary. So it is important to be prepared to make it more fun time for everyone. Letting your kids be kids will help them prepare for adulthood. So go out with your kids and be one with nature. As for us, we can’t wait for our next “unplugged weekend” soon. Happy camping!

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