I know several grandparents who have experienced camping with their children and grandchildren. All of them expressed the joy of passing on the liberating experience of camping to their descendants, whose opportunities for learning appreciation and reverence for nature continue to diminish over time. Getting out of our urban cities to dwell in nature for a few days seems to free our souls. We leave behind our to-do lists and the technology that drives so much or our waking hours, replacing it with the freedom to soak in a deep, satisfying peace. We are released from our daily routines, free to explore and discover without restrictive agendas governing our daily lives.
I suppose the most obvious benefit of camping is learning an appreciation for “being” outdoors. Understanding the complexity of the natural world, and its delicate ecological balance that we so often disrupt, sometimes irrevocably, helps us to see our stewardship role in the world God gave us. When we witness firsthand the distinctly awesome birds, animals, and plants that live together in unique harmony, we can better understand why their eventual depletion or even extinction is a tragedy, usually with bad consequences for the people who follow in our footsteps. We become more complete human beings that can advocate for all things wild when developers blindly push for projects that are driven solely by economics.
There are other benefits to camping. Learning to work as a team to accomplish tasks like setting up and tearing down camp, preparing meals, and cleaning up afterward is valuable to all involved. Clearly teamwork is necessary in an urban environment, but in nature, where nothing gets done without the effort of the campers themselves, the sense of inter-dependance is more immediate and profound. Camping also builds a sense of self-reliance, a confidence that we can solve problems using our collective ingenuity. What does one do when the ground is so hard-packed and riddled with rocks that every other tent stake is uselessly disfigured by the pounding of the flat-end of an axe, leaving the tent unsecured? What is to be done when you discover that a specific tool like a can opener is forgotten at home and dinner remains locked within the tin?
Learning to understand and embrace nature, that it is not to be feared and avoided, develops a sense of character and confidence that can carry into other aspects of our lives. I am pleased that my grown children enjoy the outdoors like I do, and that they are ensuring their children, nieces, and nephews are exposed to the wonder of all that nature offers in a way that develops them into more complete human beings.
I hope you can sense my liberating joy reflected in the following photos and their captions. This was my eldest grandson’s first overnight camping trip, and he tackled it like a champ. His dad, Tom, and uncle, Brian, helped to plant the seed that should produce fruit to come. We set our tent in the Lake View Campground of Cave Lake State Park, and used the two days to explore and make adventuresome memories.
Cave Lake State Park
Ely’s Northern Nevada Train Museum
Cathedral Gorge State Park
I have mentioned before that we have a family picture in our foyer that has this Bible verse printed on the matting:
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
I am a Christian who has been married to my wife for over four decades, with six children and four grandchildren so far. I have retired from a string of successful occupations as a certified public accountant, a chief financial officer, and a registered municipal advisor. I have been a fly angler for almost five decades. My one and only article submission was published by Southwest Fly Fishing magazine (now American Fly Fishing). You can learn more about me by clicking on “About” on the top of my blog page.
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14 thoughts on “Multi-Generational Camping”
Mark , my eyes are filled with tears of joy, just getting to see my grandson do something I’ve loved all my life, thank you so much and the knowledge you will pass to him is incredible!
He’s a wonderful little man. He did remarkably well given his young age. We had 30mph winds flapping that big ol’ tent until 6am, and our greatest concern was that he’d be frightened in the middle of the night causing us to implement our second or third bedtime alternative. Surprisingly he slept right through it all. And we’ll get him catching fish eventually, don’t worry about that. So happy you enjoyed the post.
Blessings from Vegas!
What a wonderful trip, Mark. It’s a memory your grandson will never forget.
Thank you Judy. He’s so young he might not remember it as vividly as I will, but the blogpost will help him with that when he’s older.
Pray you are well, and thanks for your comments, here and elsewhere.
Mark, I loved seeing these photos and the stories of your adventure. What a wonderful time for all of you. The Vincent guys… so special. Love to you all.
Thanks Suzanne. I’m looking forward to more of these trips. I had to wait a little for my grandson to be more mature and independent before driving off 300 miles from home to live in a tent, know what I mean? But once they get there it can be rewarding for everyone involved.
I’m thinking this is the first comment you’ve ever posted. I hope WordPress makes that easier and that you’ll share more thoughts in the future.
Memories for a lifetime for a 5 year old AND a 65 year old???. In this world of 10 second Facebook commercials it is so refreshing to relax and enter the FisherDad world!
Thanks Steve, your “memories for a lifetime” comment is so true!
This made me smile… a great trip,,,,,,, the first of many more to come,,,,,,,,. guess I need to start tying flies for our new angler addition!
Yes, I’ll let my grandson know ? I could use some more leeches…
I knew you’d like the climbing reference.
Miss you Bill.
Thanks for sharing…
Hey Vince! So great to hear from you. You are still working at the City, yes? I’m sure things are well there, especially with Jorge at the helm.
All my best to you and the team at the plant!
So wonderful to read about and see some of the men (both old and young) of your family. They’re so blessed to have been given a godly dad and grandpa to pass on the love of fishing, camping, and a devotion to the Lord. Your blog is a refreshing and encouraging platform for the Holy Spirit to touch lives. May God continue to grant you the desires of your heart in this lifetime, my Brother. – Randy
Thank you Randy. May the Lord continue to use you as He pleases.
Your brother in Christ.