Children who camp in the great outdoors at least once a year go on to do better at school, as well as being healthier and happier, according to their parents.
That’s the finding of a study carried out by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University, commissioned by The Camping and Caravanning Club, who collaborated to discover perceptions of the relationship between education and camping.
The research, led by Sue Waite, associate professor at the Plymouth Institute of Education, found that more than four out of five parents thought camping had a positive effect on their children’s school education. It showed that 98% of parents said camping makes their kids appreciate and connect with nature; 95% said their kids were happier when camping; and 93% felt that it provided useful skills for later life.
The findings support the Club’s headline theme to National Camping and Caravanning Week 2015: a campaign to ‘Get Kids Camping’. The Camping and Caravanning Club are promoting the campaign and sharing the results of the research all this week during a pop-up campsite roadshow.
Here’s a digest of other key findings:
- 52% of tent campers felt cooking when camping had a positive effect on their children’s learning.
- 83% of children took part in free play during their last camping holiday.
- 80% took part in nature walks.
- 71% seaside visits.
- 71% woodland visits.
- The top five national curriculum subjects better understood by camping: geography, science, history, English, maths.
Sue Waite said: “The parents surveyed believed camping supported the key curriculum subjects of geography, history and science, and that stacks up because the most common camping activities were natural – such as rock pooling and nature walks – where children were getting to understand ecosystems and identify life-forms, respecting nature and the environment.”
The children who took part in the research were asked what they love about camping, and the most common themes were making and meeting new friends, having fun, playing outside and learning various camping skills.
“Taking the kids camping is such a great experience for the whole family”, said club president Julia Bradbury.
“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 our 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’’.