The Camp Fire ways—exploring the great outdoors, bonding with nature, setting goals, and reflecting on opportunities—can be compared to a recent Hollywood film. In the Oscar-winning drama “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney, this land baron wrestles with an important decision about the possibility and responsibility of selling a huge chunk of naturally preserved land in Hawaii that has been in his family for over a hundred years.
Without giving away too much of the plot, there’s a segment of the film in which the father and his two daughters are admiring the breathtaking landscape found in this undisturbed portion of land. The much older girl remembers her many times spent camping on the beach with her dying mother and the younger sibling chimes in, complaining that she has never been on this type of an adventure on their family’s land.

This brings up an important topic: Considering all of today’s technology, we may be assuming that children are more connected to their handheld gadgets than they are to bonding with the great outdoors and their family. But as the saying goes, you shouldn’t assume things.

Camping and Bonding With Family

Being more involved with nature, camping, enjoying the great outdoors means that we’re unplugging from today’s technology and detaching ourselves from the internet. These outdoor adventures offer many rewards, including special bonding moments and family memories. But what about our pets?

Sometimes we forget about our four-legged friends being an important part of our family, and camping is one of those times they’re often welcome to join us on an outdoor excursion. Why leave them alone at home to suffer the anxiety of our departure when they can come along and enjoy this adventure with us?

Delivering The Real Deal

Have you ever noticed some brand names are trying to recreate some of the experiences and tastes that are found around a campfire? Take those delicious marshmallows, roasted over an open fire, then applied to a graham cracker with a square of chocolate. Look on your grocery store shelves and you’ll find “S’more”-flavored this or that—everything from cookies to ice cream—but nothing beats a real, actual, freshly roasted S’more created around a fire pit.

Avoiding Screen Scenery

While you can find some stunning pictures of scenery and landscapes online, from a virtual standpoint, nothing beats the reward of hiking to these locations and seeing them for yourself with a perfect 360° vantage point. Instead of typing in some scenic locations on a keyboard, kids can traverse these paths themselves and see everything there is to see on the way there and back.

Descending & Fulfilling the Campfire Ways

Much in the same way the younger character from our movie example is reaching for her own spark in a fictional drama, this is one illustration of how Camp Fire brings these points to light (pun intended).

One of the examples from The Descendants and a difference we can make in our children’s lives is to thrive. Not to simply exist, but to truly thrive. Learn skills, have unforgettable experiences, bond with nature, and learn how to overcome life’s many obstacles by practicing what we’ve been taught and looking forward to a more productive future.

While the word “descendant” may sound negative, like taking a step backward in a decent, it’s actually a doorway to remembering the past, enjoying the present, and thriving toward the future. Self-reflection and goal management are two of the important Camp Fire ways that are leading today’s youth into a more productive future.

Article by Amy Kristine Williams – mother of two, social worker, and positive parenting advocate.