I have a great admiration for the splendor of Mother Nature and love to step back every once in a while to admire her work. I am often left in awe of not just her beauty by her power too.
But hiking it in and setting up camp?
Notsomuch……..I blame my father. When we were kids he pretty much forced us on these “great” camping expeditions -- I’ll spare you the dinning on snake, night terrors, and tales of the woodland assassin but trust me, it wasn’t pretty. To this day, my dad still swears that I loved those trips, even after I recount the days of terror and adamantly deny any delight.
I do love the water, I grew up along the Oregon coast and miss being in an area where rivers and lakes are within an hour’s drive or the ocean is just a bit further. Believe it or not - I can build a fire, bait a hook, ring net a crab, clean the catch, navigate the waters (by boat, dinghy, raft, Jet Ski, or life vest) and enjoy time on the water.
My kids have a very distinctive reverence for all things in nature, especially my oldest son, who knows more about the great outdoors than any child his age would need to. He can talk all day about the different varieties of animal poop, what it looks like, what they ate to make it that way, how they use it to communicate, hunt, and even mate. Show him a pile of poop and he’ll tell you where it came from Oh, yes, it is a beautiful thing.
Even though some of her disabilities prevent her from spending too much time outdoors, Ms. Ma’am thoroughly enjoys it. She has made it her responsibility to feed all the neighborhood birds, in which we have quite the variety – Cardinals, Finches, Doves, Blue Birds, American Robin, Humming Birds, Mocking Birds, Black Birds, some pretty amazing Indigo type birds, and many others that I don’t know the names of. She however can name most of them.
I am grateful that my children find delight in the details of nature and do try to encourage them to explore their interests. We’ve become so technology driven that I think even those of us that are more designed for indoor living should invest some time into the knowledge of nature….it is after all where we came from. Yet, unplugging and taking a step away from our technological focus to immerse ourselves in nature is not always such an easy task, especially when the winter nasty is so persistent.
When the kids have become bored with all the buzzing, beeping, and clanking of their charged up or plugged in micro-chipped technologies and start pulling me in every insane direction, I struggle in getting them to engage in an activity together. Board games are usually a pretty good solution, except for many of them are not compatible with everyone’s different age and abilities, which makes it hard for little girl to keep up with the boys.
|You know I always have to follow the QR code|
Interestingly enough, it was my husband who pulled out the CAMP board game; it’s a trivia game, which is perfect for us because we are all a bunch of “know-it-alls.” This one is a little different though because it caters to each individual player’s level of “know-it-all” with different levels so that each player can have questions suitable for their age and range of “know-it-all” knowledge about wildlife, camping, and other outdoor trivia. In order to facilitate a round with all different ages of “know-it-all” each card has four questions on it, and these questions are arranged by age group with the top card being geared toward those level 1 players with each subsequent question on the card designed for levels 2, 3, and 4.
and the code leads to?
Little girl can handle level one and some of level 2, our younger son does pretty well with all of level 2 but tries for level 3, my older son and I are both a solid level 3, merging to a level 4, and my husband is our sideline, instigator :0)
The goal of the game is for your animal piece (I’m always Sassy, the squirrel) to make it all the way around the board and back to CAMP before anyone else. With challenges that make the hike back a bit more difficult!
There are also fun facts integrated throughout the game, for example:
Did you know that a baby oyster is called a spat?
What level do you think you’d play?
Let me help you decide. One card will have 4 questions, each geared toward the different levels, for example one of the cards asks:
What is pictured above (of course there is a picture for the player to reference)?
- Black bear?
What is a baby black bear called?
What is a group of bears called?
What is the scientific name of the bear?
- Ursus americanus?
- Cervus elapus?
- Feliz rufus?
Without using a search engine, do you know the answer?
It’s a challenging game with a 100% educational component; I think we all learn a few things when we play, I know I sure have. I appreciate the fact that the game sparks an inquiry into the things of nature, with all of our gadgets and devices I don’t think that children have as many naturally occurring opportunities to learn about the workings beyond paved streets and while I jest that I’m an indoor girl, knowledge is power and knowing about wildlife arouses an awareness and appreciation for those things that hold their own source of unplugged brilliance – an experience that no internet browser can give....no hike in required :0)
Find out more about CAMP at Education Outdoors
Please read my disclosure