By L&C OTA Student Rebekah Miler-Lyles
“Time camping isn’t spent; it’s invested.”
When the air turns a little nippy and the leaves a little crisp, I know the time has come to get outdoors and unplug.
One of my all-time favorite ways to unplug is through camping. I know that if I were to suffer from an injury or disability, I would still want to find a way to enjoy camping.
One of the goals of Occupational Therapy Practitioners is to find a way to get people back to doing the things they love. Following these few tips will have you back enjoying the great outdoors in no time
First, contact your local campsite to find out whether they have handicap accessible camping spots available. National and State Parks are a good place to start as they often list such information online.
Be sure to ask about the distance to amenities, whether the ground is level, and sidewalk availability.
Grab Your Gear
Next, make sure to come equipped with the right gear. Many manufacturers offer a range of tents with wheelchair friendly dome entrances and raised cot areas. Adaptive equipment such as easy peg removers simplifies the process even more.
Finally, get involved and enjoy yourself. Not sure what to do? Try some of these 6 ideas.
1. Campfire Cooking
Try an old favorite like roasting hot dogs or something with a twist like Smoreos.
Whether looking for constellations or observing meteorological events such as a meteor shower, the sky is always a wonder to behold.
3. Be Present
Experience nature with your eyes and ears. Watch a sunset, observe the fireflies dance in the night sky, or listen for the distinct song of the Barred Owl as he sings, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”
4. Sing a Campfire Song
Sing some of your favorite camp songs around the fire. Whether singing “Kumbaya My Lord” or “Hello Mu-dda! Hello Fa-dda!,” a sing-along is a great way to get everyone together at the end of the day.
5. Play Games & Tell Stories
Make memories together playing games, such as washers, or telling stories.
6. Explore Your Options
If sensory-processing challenges are preventing your child from enjoying unstructured camp experiences, they may flourish under the care of an occupational therapy summer camp where sensory integration and socialization are built into daily camp life.
Now tell me, what are some of your favorite camping memories or tips and tricks?