One of the greatest ways to explore the great outdoors is on hiking expeditions, whether it’s an afternoon’s walk in the woods or a grand weekend of backpacking through rugged alpine terrain. Summer camps give kids the amazing opportunity of getting up close and personal with the natural environment by going on hiking adventures through forests, along rugged coastlines or up challenging mountain slopes. Hiking offers a host of health benefits along with piles of fun and happy camp memories.
Tromping up and down hills for hours is a super way to get a cardiovascular workout and hiking is an excellent fitness activity, improving heart, lung and blood vessel fitness and muscular strength. Hiking gives a workout to pretty much every part of the body, including quads, hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles. Kids feel better both physically and mentally.
Hiking is a great way to get up close and personal with nature. The activity’s slower pace allows kids to really notice the finer details of the natural world with all their senses. From identifying the plumage and calls of various birds to marveling at the intricacy of a spider’s web, the world of the hiker is full of wonders both large and small.
Hiking with a group is a great way for campers to get to know each other better, since there’s plenty of time to talk, laugh and even sing a few lively hiking songs. Sometimes kids even get to know themselves better. Counselors provide plenty of instruction in navigating through the wilderness, and kids can work together to figure out the best route.
Many youngsters develop a lifelong love of hiking and wilderness explorations while at summer camp. Like so many camp activities, hiking helps encourage kids to get into healthy living habits. Youngsters who partake in vigorous activities like hiking are less likely to develop risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. They’re also less likely to become obese, particularly if they take their new love of foot-powered explorations home with them.
The combination of brisk activity, fresh air and glorious surroundings is a great de-stressor. Mood and energy levels are boosted by the release of adrenalin and endorphins brought on by this excellent exercise and pretty much anyone will sleep better after putting in miles of legwork over any kind of terrain.
Longer hiking trips with all necessities stowed away in a backpack are a summer camp favorite. Youngsters hike to exciting locations and sleep out under the stars after a fun night around the campfire singing, telling stories and roasting plenty of marshmallows. Learning how to pack for a trip, follow a challenging route and set up camp makes backpacking both loads of fun and a great learning experience. The activity is also a super team building experience as each member has a role whether setting up tents, cooking or mapping the next day’s route.
What to Bring
If your child will be doing a lot of hiking at camp, invest in a pair of good hiking boots and thick socks, as there’s nothing more off-putting than sore feet and a crop of blisters at the end of a day’s wilderness explorations. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and bug repellent along as well. Happy trails!
Canadian Adventure Camp is a coed overnight summer camp for kids located on a beautiful private island in the wilderness lakes region of Temagami. Founded in 1975, it provides acclaimed programs to children from around the world! Visit site: http://www.canadianadventurecamp.com/about/ontario-summer-camp-facilities/