Me & My Dad Camp: Why dads should take their kids camping

I had a quiet two days last week. My husband, Jay, took the two younger kids to the annual Me & My Dad Camp event with our church. The venue was in Clearwater Resort, Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

It was really just an overnight event, but since my husband was a member of the staff, he had to go to the site a day earlier to help out in the preparations before all the dads and their kids who were joining arrived.tent-camp-kids
I appreciated the silence and the company of our 13-year old, Pablo, who mainly kept to his books and drawings, and worked on his next animation project when we were home.

We did leave the house on Friday afternoon so he could attend the Youth Service at our church facility, while I enjoyed a bit of solace with a book over coffee at Starbucks at the nearest mall where I waited for him. And on our way home, we chatted some about life, and how hungry we were that we ended up at KFC at the next mall for dinner, haha!

Why these moments matter

But the precious-ness of these moments were not only because I had my quiet time and a one-on-one moment with Pablo, but also because I knew my two other children were having the time of their life with their dad.

Jay would send me photos through Facebook messenger from time to time, just to show me what the tornadoes were up to, and one of my closest friends whose husband also took his daughter (who happens to be our 10-year old Lukas’ BFF) also sent me photos of the kids playing with their friends and having such a grand time.

bonfire-camp

Fun times at Me & My Dad Camp

I asked my husband why Me & My Dad camp is such a hit to the kids, and why it’s important to him.

He said that kids have a fascination with the idea of camping, which I think they got from the books they read and the shows they watch. They’re excited to pitch their own tent and sleep in it at night time.

With this camp, there were a lot of fun, creative games that culminate in the legendary water gun game where in teams have to poke holes on the Japanese paper placed on the foreheads of each participant by squirting water on them.

According to my husband, it’s a merciless game haha! Age is of no consideration. It doesn’t matter if you’re 6  or 65 years old. If you have a paper target on your head, prepare to be soaked!

war-games
Image source: Leo & Honney Natividad

Jay said that the dads’ participation help create the success of the camp. They really grab the opportunity to bond with their kids and play with them. Some of them even strategise to win the water game, it’s crazy, haha!

The kids see old friends and meet new ones. They get to spend time with nature, feel the wind, see the skies, laugh and play, and forget all about their gadgets.

friends-camp
Image source: Leo & Honney Natividad
best-friends
BFF’s Lukas and Ayesha,
Image source: Leo & Honney Natividad

Beyond fun and games

Me & My Dad Camps in our church go beyond just the physical activities and bonding. The dads get to join a short session where they are taught the Biblical values and principles of Fatherhood that can help them in their relationships with their kids.

Believe it or not, dads may be natural at the fun stuff, but like any other parent, many dads need help in figuring out how to best connect with their children and how to best parent them.

At the camp, they get to hear from other dads who share their experiences and the biblical values that helped them in their parenting journey, giving these men just the right encouragement in being intentional with their children. What better way to parent than from the One who created families?

I can go on and on about the benefits of this camp, bottom line is, I believe with all my heart that our fathers play a crucial role in our growing up years. Our experiences with them help establish what would be foundational to our adult lives.

Our fathers are so much more than just the giver of our allowances and payment for our bills.

Daughters who have been given attention and showered love by their fathers grow up confident and independent.  They do not crave for affirmation from other men because they have gotten more than enough fill of it from their own fathers.

Men learn to be good husbands and fathers from watching their own fathers and experiencing life with them.

jay-kids
My husband works 9 to 5, five times a week. My children spend more time with me. I get the majority of hugs and kisses from them, and I get to talk and bond with them more often.

So Jay takes advantage of these activities that give him exclusive time with our children. He gets to pray with them, play with them, swim with them, laugh with them, do crazy things with them, eat with them, and sleep and wake with them by his side.

As my children’s father and my team mate in this thing called ”parenting,” I think that that my husband deserves to have these precious moments with his children. Fatherhood is a gift! He deserves to enjoy his children all for himself from time to time. He deserves to share in the joys of having them.

Our boys come home beaming and brimming with stories of their adventures with him. He deserves it. It’s a God-given privilege.

I asked my middle child if he remembered me at all in the two days they were gone, and he answered, ”yes — when we were going home,” haha. Priceless!

This year is the first and last time Lukas and Judah will be together in camp because Lukas is already 10 years old. But we know that he will forever treasure the memories he’s built with his dad at camp.

To the person who made it possible for both of our kids to join this year, thank you for your generosity.

Me & My Dad Camp is an annual summer event at all Victory Churches in Metro Manila. It is open to all dads with kids ages 5-9 years old. If you’re thinking of signing up for a camp next summer, that’s great. Just call the Kids Ministry office of a Victory Church near you.

”Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them” Psalm 127: 4 – 5.

“The Righteous Man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him” Proverbs 20:7.

 ”Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” Ephesians 6:4.

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29 Comments

  1. How fun! My husband and I were just talking about him taking the older boys camping last night! Even if it was just in our backyard, we could at least do a trial run that way. We have never been camping but I know our kids would love it and it would be great bonding with them and their dad.

  2. What an awesome bonding experience for dads and kids! I love how the camp goes beyond the traditional fun stuff and actually give us a chance to learn how to bond better with their kids.

  3. What a great idea! The kids get to spend such great quality time with their Dad. Of course they love it. Plus, as your husband said, for some reason kids just love camping and the idea of sleeping in a tent. Glad it was a success.

  4. My husband and I are praying for a child. I can’t wait to play with him/her/them. I would love to see them camping with their dad too!

  5. I love Victory Churches camp! When I was a kid I used to attend our kids camp too. haha. This is very helpful for kids and fathers as a bonding time.

  6. We attend the same church ans I always wondered what they did there. It sounds super dun and I agree that father should set bonding time with their children, especially at such a young age. Sorry, daddy issues. Hahaha

  7. This is special. I wish my husband would do this, too. Not just for my ME time but also to create memories with our sons. I am sure they will enjoy this kind of activity with their dad. This is a special activity by your church.

  8. This is so good. As a kid, I had dreams of going camping, too, to the point that I asked my father if we could sleep in the garden. I hope I can do this with my kids when they are old enough.

  9. I’ve heard lot of great things about that camp as my bestfriend’s son went to the camp with his dad as well

  10. Camping with family is really fun. Same here, whenever we travel mas magkasama yung mag-ama ko kaysa sa akin. I also give time for them na magbonding.

  11. Ang saya naman. I also want my husband to have his exclusive time with our kids lalo na lately he spends too much time sa phone dahil busy sa work and kakalaro. God bless you and your familt Mommy!

  12. The camp looks fun! It’s really amazing when Dad bonds with the boys. I am always on the lookout for Father and Son events. For me, it is a unique opportunity for the kids to learn valuable lessons from the Dad at mas maganda while in action (like games, etc.).

  13. Nako need talaga ng boy bonding ang mga father and sons, Minsan ako pa nag oorganized ng gala ng boysko kasi si hubby to tired na minsan from work. Minsan lang sila bata and ito yung few times na sana maging masaya at memorable diba? Hay ang bilis pa naman ng panahon at ang bilis din magsilakihan ng kids 🙂

  14. This is such a great activity. The daddies will really got to have the chance to connect and bond with their kids, since we all knowthat daddies are busy most of the time. This is good also for the kids because they will have precious memories of quality time with their dads

  15. I wish Jon and our boys can have an experience like this. He’s home a lot now since he already works from home, so they do get to spend more time together. But this kind of experience will just enrich their relationship even more.

  16. Sis, we are blessed to have hubbies who give time for their families. Need din ng mga daddies to bond with their kids since usually tayong mga mommies ang madalas nilang kasama, so glad for your boys’ bonding time.

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