Learning comes in so many ways. During school year our kids are learning in the classrooms and after school activities. On vacation we all learn something new about the place we visit. Even playing at home is learning, perhaps the best kind of all! But during the summer there is a unique opportunity: exploring nature and learning outdoors while camping.
Camping can become one of the best unstructured breaks in our overscheduled lives. Fishing, swimming in the lake, hiking, building fairy houses, making pottery from clay found right next to the campground, examining insects, making fire: just some of the many, many of kids favorite things to do on a camp site.
Some unexpected benefits:
- Being away from artificial light helps regulate melatonin, fight insomnia and reset the natural sleep rhythm. Even for weeks after you return home!
- Vitamin D from the sun.. that helps you to absorb calcium better resulting in stronger bones and teeth
- Gazing up at millions of stars you can see from a campground makes you more inventive and creative at home. There was actually a study on this J
- Extra oxygen provided by trees causes your body to release serotonin, the happy hormone.
Some not so surprising benefits for the kids:
- Plenty of fresh air and exercise
- Non-stop playdate and socialization with friends
- Reduction of stress (well, that one is great for adults, too!)
- Spending uninterrupted family time while exploring nature!
There are many campsites around NY/NJ tri-state area. Some of our favorites:
Barryville Base & Adventure Center
3854 Route 97, Barryville, NY 12719
Two hours outside of New York City, Kittatinny Campgrounds has canoeing, rafting, fishing and other water activities. Located along Delaware River with 350 campsites, in wooded and open, grassy areas. Amenities include a swimming pool, volleyball and badminton, horseshoes and an arcade.
Buena Vista Camping Grounds
775 Harding Highway, Buena, NJ
Buena Vista is pet-friendly and has two pools, a beach, waterslide, mini golf, movie theater, two arcades and plenty of athletic activities fun for the entire family. Exploring nature is easy at this location not too far from Atlantic City.
North –South Lake campground
HAINES FALLS NY 12436
North-South Lake is the biggest and most popular state campground in the Catskill Forest Preserve. There are 2 main lakes and if you book early (9 months! in advance) you can put up your tent right one the lake. The surrounding mountains contain numerous hiking trails, which lead to spectacular overlooks, waterfalls, and historic sights. Pet-friendly.