We've loved doing more GTD family retreats over the past few years and watching parents coach their kids to be overcomers as kids inspire their parents to never give up... all in a family-friendly, Christ-centered, God-awesome environment that bonds families together like nothing else can.
Several years ago I read a Christian based book about family development. The author did a survey of 100 families that he knew and considered to be exceptionally healthy families. He wanted to see what traits they had in common... if there was a family formula for success.
He found that they all had ONLY ONE TRAIT IN COMMON. What was the only thing they all had in common? THEY ALL TOOK FAMILY CAMPING TRIPS. There's a lot of insight there.
Camping trips have every ingredient needed to forge strong & healthy relationship bonds in a short amount of time.
And it's not about putting together a camping trip that's free of adversity. Quite the opposite!
It's about how all the adversity inherent to camping actually creates the ultimate team building challenge, that if navigated correctly, can lead to closer bonds, greater communication, overcoming challenges together, increased gratitude for things we often take for granted, concentrating quality time together, laughing at silly mistakes, learning perspective about the difference between real problems versus manufactured "problems", stress relief, breathing fresh air, Vitamin D, exercise, the health that comes from simply being outdoors, taking a break from technology - emails - notifications - constant demands, leaving first-world "problems" at home for a few days, building lifelong memories together, S'MORES, campfires, cool camping equipment, working together, and the list goes on and on.
There's no wonder these families were strong & healthy. CAMPING IS POWERFUL! God uses it in amazing ways!!
If you don't already, do your family a favor and start taking them camping at least once a year =).
Click here to check out all the pictures from the fUntastic family camping retreat we had with Relevant Church