Taking your children camping can be one of the most rewarding experiences. You get to share with them your love of nature and all the beauty that surrounds us. You also have a prime opportunity to express to them just how important it is to care for this fragile planet that we have been gifted with, which can impact them for a lifetime.
No matter what their age, children learn from what you teach them, and more importantly, your actions. By taking your children camping and showing them the importance of leaving the wilderness as it was when you arrived you are giving them crucial lessons for the future. This not only shows them the value in caring for the space that you use, but the importance of taking care of the planet as a whole.
If you approach this as a fun activity kids are most likely to catch on and even want to take the lead. Chances are they may even correct you from time to time. The beginning steps is to reinforce that you should never leave any trash behind, no matter where you might be. This can be as simple as asking them to pick up a food wrapper they left behind on the trail. After doing so you can explain to them in terms they understand just how long it takes for that wrapper to become part of the Earth again and the harm that it could do to animals that come across it.
As they age you can get even more in depth with your explanations. For young children you might say that it takes a very long time for something to decompose, or that it might hurt the animals, but when they are older you can explain specific time frames and the real harm it can cause.
Being a responsible camper is important at any age. Sharing your love for nature and the planet will carry with them into adulthood. It is an important lesson that they will be glad you taught them.