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 claim of a study carried out by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University and The Camping and Caravanning Club, who collaborated to discover perceptions of the relationship between education and camping.
Parents and children around the UK were asked a series of questions which looked at the educational, psychological and social benefits of the camping experience to children of all ages.
The research led by Sue Waite, Associate Professor at the Plymouth Institute of Education, found that more than 4 out of 5 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.
Some parents (15%) reported that escaping technology (laptops, tablets, mobiles, etc) is a good thing for their children and one of the benefits of camping. A fifth of parents (20%) said camping gives their kids freedom, independence and confidence; and more than two thirds (68%) felt camping helped their children to enjoy learning in the classroom, because they can share their camping adventures and experiences such as visiting exciting educational or historical sites.
Sue Waite said; “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 – such as rock pooling and nature walks – where children were getting to understand ecosystems and identify lifeforms, respecting nature and the environment.”
The link between education and camping is the focus of a new campaign, ‘Get Kids Camping’, which was launched on 21st May 2015 by Julia Bradbury, The Camping and Caravanning Club President.
You can download the complete research report here - you'll need a PDF reader to view it.