Pitch up for happy, healthier kids

Published: Sunday 7th June 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (1)

We’ve all heard of ‘happy campers’, but it seems families who enjoy camping could be more accurately described as ‘happy, educated campers’.

New research shows children who camp in the great outdoors at least once a year tend to do better at school, and are healthier and happier.

The study by Plymouth University and the Camping and Caravanning Club found more than four out of five parents thought camping had a positive effect on their children’s school education. Plus, 98% felt it made their kids appreciate and connect with nature; 95% thought children were happier as a result, and 93% believed it provides useful skills for later life.

TV presenter Julia Bradbury, president of the Camping and Caravanning Club, who’ve just launched their new Get Kids Camping campaign, says: “Taking the kids camping is such a great experience for the whole family.

“We have masses of beautiful scenery on our doorstep in the UK, and camping doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s a brilliant way of getting kids out in the fresh air, away from the TV and computers – developing their brains and teaching them to interact with each other and the countryside in different ways.

“If you haven’t taken your family camping, give it a go – it’s an adventure that won’t disappoint you.”

Sue Waite, the associate professor at Plymouth Institute of Education who led the study, says; “Interestingly, the parents surveyed believed camping supported the key curriculum subjects of geography, history and science and actually, that stacks up, because the most common camping activities were natural, like rock pooling and nature walks, where children are getting to understand ecosystems and identify lifeforms, respecting nature and the environment.”

Children who took part in the research were asked what they loved about camping – making and meeting new friends, having fun, playing outside and learning various camping skills were all popular answers. Children also recognised camping’s value for problem-solving and working together, and for helping improve their understanding of subjects like geography, science, history, English and maths.

Rob Ganley, spokesman for the Camping and Caravanning Club, points out that as well as campers making plenty of trips to the seaside, historical sites and going on nature walks, campsites are safe places for children to play freely.

“Camping will prise kids away from smartphones and tablets and get them exploring the outdoors. There’s no better place for climbing a tree or making a den than a campsite, and the great thing is that they’re safe environments.

“They can leave the tent, run around the site and make friends with kids from other families staying there. It harks back to the days of a safer world, in some ways. It’s a really safe and healthy environment for kids to make friends and develop new skills.”

And for parents worried about any potential discomfort while camping, Ganley reassures: “Modern camping equipment is streets ahead of what it used to be – you can even get inflatable tents that are up within a minute, and there’s always glamping!”

The Camping and Caravanning Club even offers Ready Camp safari-style pre-erected tents on 17 club sites around the UK, featuring real beds, a kitchen and a sofa in a spacious living area.

Ganley adds: “Families just turn up with their bedding, with no worries about pitching a tent. Glamping is definitely a popular option.”

:: For more information visit www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Sunday 7th June 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (1)
  • Shane Miles

    We have camped for years and our children love it. They abandon their tablets and phones, make friends with other children and nag to play traditional outdoor games! Admittedly this is very tiring for the adults as we are forced out of chairs and to go walking, exploring and generally joining in but as someone who has never entirely grown up. It’s brilliant.In my opinion there is no more beatiful country in the world than ours in the summer with vast historical,weird and wonderful sites. Anyone who thinks camping means roughing it needs to think again,we have electrical hook up giving light,heat,tv and dvd and the girls still can use their hair dryers etc. our tent has four spacious bedrooms and a large living area.

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