Get Outside Kids!

My Backyard

For YEARS I have passionately lead my family into the wilderness: on trail, off trail, up countless mountain tops, swam in crystal blue lakes, traveled above timberline, through streams, over glaciers, and hopped on and through countless boulders. Carrying huge loads to accommodate the needs of small children has now been replaced by the joy of walking with strong, confident, and very fast teenagers! Admittedly, our wanderings are not always met with jubilation. There even has been an occasional rolling of the eyes and sighs just before a big trip. My strategy is simple: plan and pack everything ahead of time and at the last-minute put everyone’s backpack on and viola no choices!

But in the end the experience of togetherness in solitude is worth the grind. Being outdoors is fun, rewarding, even transformative. Just simple act of stepping  outdoors into the natural world is essential.

Just the other day, my son text me from college wanting to know the name of that ultralight guy I follow for a presentation he was planning for a class on the subject of backpacking. I quickly answered, Andrew Skurka! Ahh… the joy of perseverance  in the face of resistance is …well fantastic!

This week I shared my love movement in the outdoors hiking with my grand-daughter and roaming around Red Rock Canyon State Park with digital photography students. The reward is BIG when one is surrounded with scrambling, balancing, jumping, thinking, and happy kids!

Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park

A  recent Trailspace blog entitled “Get a Kid Outside this Weekend” stated:

“Kids who spend regular time outdoors in nature have higher grades, less depression and hyperactivity, longer attention spans, better social skills, better eyesight, more creativity, stronger connections and respect for nature and others, and longer, healthier life expectancies”.

More and more kids aren’t experiencing the outdoors though. Here are some worrisome stats, courtesy of the Outdoor Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation:

  • In recent years, youth participation in outdoor recreation (even just one outing a year) has fallen every year for boys and girls in every age group.
  • From 2006 to 2008, participation for girls ages 6 to 12 dropped from 77 to 58 percent; boys’ participation in the same age group fell from 79 to 69 percent.
  • The average American child spends almost eight hours a day watching electronic entertainment (TV, computers, video games, etc.). At the same time, kids spend an average of four minutes a day playing outside.

Mt. Langley

I don’t know about you but this is scary stuff! I think just the possible impact the statistics might have on our future generations is disturbing! What a huge encouragement to just keep plugging my philosophy to just get outdoors and move!

Where will you go next and who will you bring along? Get Outside Kids!

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Just poppies « Lady on a Rock

  2. “Oh the Places we WILL Go!”
    Dr. Seuss

  3. What a fantastic, passionate, and riveting post! Thanks mom, for getting Ella OUT THERE! We love you!

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