The impact of families camping together: Opportunities for personal and social development
Family camping fosters stronger family bonds, spirituality, confidence, and connections with nature
This study investigated the impact of a communal family camping program by addressing two research questions: What is the meaning of the camping experience? How does the camping experience influence its participants?
This study was conducted in the Czech Republic with nine families participating. The camping experience extended over a period of two weeks. Two of the researchers directly participated in the experience with their families. The camping program was designed for family entertainment and personal growth. It was also designed to promote appreciation of nature, personal resilience, cooperation with others, and the importance of physical activity and personal health.
A questionnaire to gather information about how the camping experience influenced the participants was developed by the researchers was distributed to all the families participating in the camping program. Fourteen parents, along with their children, completed the survey. The survey included both open and closed questions. The format of the survey allowed each family to answer in their own unique way. For example, one of the parents could have answered all the questions with input from other family members. In other situations, each member of the family could add their own comments.
Results of this study were based on two primary sources: the perspectives of the two researchers participating in the camping program and the survey responses. Findings suggested indicated that the main impact of the program for adults centered around the community of other campers, spirituality, the involvement with nature, and family. The impact for children focused on four areas: learning new topics, family, nature, and community. The authors suggest these impacts lead to stronger family bods, self-reliance in the outdoors, and greater adaptability.
Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that family camping contributes in unique ways to the family, to the community of campers, to the spiritual dimension of one’s life, and to an appreciation of nature. They suggest that this study might be used as an example for others looking for a unique and meaningful family experience.
Jirasek, I., Roberson, D.N., Jiraskova, M., (2017). The impact of families camping together: Opportunities for personal and social development. Leisure Sciences, 39(1)