As a parent, when startling figures are released detailing how youngsters are spending less and less time in the outdoors, I cannot help but worry about the generation of children we are raising. As a Group Scout Leader, I see in practice how camping and being in the outdoors especially at night can bring so much magic into our children’s lives and I always find it surprising when I see such a few families do these activities with their children. Being in the outdoors at night is a completely different experience, your senses truly come to life, you will notice so many new noises, your eyes will be on extra alert picking up different sights which you would never see in daytime. We love to share great ideas for adventures that families can have with their children, and I totally love the idea of the RSPB Big Wild Sleepout.
What is the RSPB Big Wild Sleepout?
For the yet another year, the RSPB are inspiring families to have a nocturnal adventure. Over the weekend of 28 – 30th July, the RSPB hopes that families will embark on adventures and plan a mini adventure for them to enjoy with their children. The RSPB Big Wild Sleepout is not limited to just camping though, it is open to families which nocturnal adventures they choose and it means that you can really cater it for the needs of your family. You can camp in your garden, have a sleepout in your house with the backdoor open, go on a night time walk, star gaze… the choices are endless. The sole aim of the RSPB Big Wild Sleepout is aimed at getting families to get outdoors in the night exploring mother nature at its finest! The sleepout also counts as activities for the RSPB Wild Challenge and can help towards you achieving your Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.
How can I get involved?
As mentioned above, the way in which you embark on this adventure is really up to you. The RSPB have lots of information for families on their site and to help plan your adventure. From information about camping with children and equipment you need to lots of ideas of activities you can do from nature hunts, to animal tracking to craft ideas. We have been getting outdoors with our little adventurers since they were teeny babies, but i know lots of families have reluctance with small children and I think its fantastic that the RSPB have made loads of resources in conjunction with the Twirlywoos to give ideas of night time adventures which are prefect to try with young children.
As in the previous year, the weekend will see thousands of families sleeping in their gardens but if you fancy being involved in an organised sleepout the RSPB has camps set up for the weekend.
How are we taking part in the RSPB Big Wild Sleepout?
In true Five Adventurers fashion, we are doing a first for our family and attending our first ever International Scouts Jamboree. We will be heading to Staffordshire to take part in the Muslim Scout Fellowship’s first ever Jamboree. We will be taking part in lots of night time activities from a night time hike, camp fire activities and enjoying the sights and sounds which nightfall brings. our little adventurers cannot wait and can be found daily sleeping in their sleeping bags whenever they have the chance.
As a mother, adventurer and a Scout leader, I cannot emphasis the good that being outdoors can have for your children. Embarking on nightime adventures can seem tiring especially if your children are usually in bed before nightfall but the experience will be great for you all and even exploring your back garden at night will seem like a real adventure. Nature is becoming overlooked everyday to the detriment of us all and by taking part in RSPB Big Wild Sleepout will help develop a deeper understanding of the wildlife and help to raise children who endeavour to look after the wildlife and nature around us.