Walking through a quiet aspen grove or sitting by a clear blue lake, you may notice the family has a greater sense of calm or increased focus. This isn’t a coincidence. Studies have shown that time spent in nature has a number of mental and physical benefits. According to a 2016 study from Plymouth University in the UK, parents of kids who camp in nature at least once a year say their kids perform better in school and are healthier and happier.
That’s just one of the reasons that the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) encourages families to get out and camp during the Great American Campout each year. Pledging to camp this year also helps NWF reach a goal of planting 5,000 native trees, and enters participating families in a sweepstakes to win an RV from Keystone RV Company and a weeklong stay at any Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts in the United States.
“Camping is the perfect antidote to our hyper-connected, technology driven lives. Time spent outdoors with family, loved ones, or even on your own helps you to decompress and reconnect with the important things in life,” explains Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Camping gives us the opportunity to experience first-hand the beauty and diversity of the amazing wildlife with which we share our world. As the father of two little girls, I can’t think of a better activity to help our children learn compassion and respect for our planet.”
98% of parents feel camping makes their kids appreciate and connect with nature
93% feel that it provides useful self-reliance skills for later in life.
95% feel their kids are happier when camping
There’s still time to pitch your tent (or pack up the camper). Families can pledge to camp on their own anywhere in the United States throughout the fall, or join one of the Great American Campout activities, such as the camping event at Jellystone Park of Estes Park on August 11.
Sign the pledge and find camping tips and activities at NWF.org/campout