I do appreciate that camping with children
is not for everyone, but when you run an on-line business, a week under canvas with virtually no Internet or phone signal is a great antidote to a stressful life filled with technology.
So after the usual pressure of packing and traveling, we arrive at the most beautiful campsite within the incredible Forest of Dean, for our annual university friends camping reunion with three very excited children in tow. Shouting and confusion ensues as we all find the right tent poles and appropriate holes and pegs; the holiday begins and parenting under canvas for a week commences.
My husband and I love the way that children get involved with the basics of camping; fetching water, washing up, helping to make fires and cook and we really love the lack of TV and devices (we don’t allow any when camping). We try and make it as fun as possible and often the children earn pocket money for helping us out with the camp.
Camping is basic and we all evolve into more simple versions of ourselves and spend the week swimming, doing bush craft activities, bike riding, playing family rounders and the eight year olds created their own paper version of MINECRAFT with their amazing imaginations!
One evening two of the older children in our party, organised a highly recommended ‘Chocolate tasting’ evening where we all had to guess the brands and type of chocolate from a selection of 11. It was such fun and all 13 of us ages ranging from 3 to 44 got involved.
One very interesting aspect of a camping holiday is the way in which families discipline their children. Camping really can be life ‘laid bare’ and due to the nature of canvas, (or rip-stop nylon) the ability to hide behind the four walls of home no longer exists.It’s like parenting in public 24:7. My observations conclude that there are the calm parents, the shouty parents, the explain everything parents and the ‘just let your children go ferrel’ parents.
I’m not quite sure which category we fall into; probably a bit of all of them, but I have to admit I find the whole thing very much a learning experience and generally take away some great ideas of what to try with my three boys and some ideas of what I perhaps wouldn’t do either. Let’s face it where ever you are parenting is very much trial and error.
Overall I find parenting under canvas an opportunity to relax and get away from the usual rules of life and enjoy letting the children stay up late, sit around the fire and spend lots of time chatting with my wonderful friends until it becomes too cold to stay outside any longer and we run out of wine.
So if you see my boys running around a campsite with no shoes on, unsuitably dressed and eating Shreddies straight from the box, it could be that just for this week my parenting falls into the ‘my children have gone Ferrel’ category. Please don’t judge me, I’m trying hard not to judge anyone too!