Is there a disconnect between 21st century kids and the great outdoors? So often today childhood hours are sucked up with action-packed video games and television without the actual action and adventure that the outdoors has to offer. But an increasing body of research recognizes that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.
In his book Last Child in the Woods, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links “nature deficit”, the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation, to the rise in obesity and attention disorders. Yet, when we foster a child’s connection with nature, it can only lead to good things — academic achievements rise, physical activity rates go up, attention spans improve, and eco-protectors of the future emerge.
Exploring the outdoors through activities such as hikes, camps and rock climbing can have an extraordinary impact on a girl’s life. The more time we spend in nature as kids, the more inspired we are to protect it as adults. Just by going outside, and discovering how much life is teeming under an overturned log, can give a girl a whole new perspective.
GGC has partnered with the Canadian Wildlife Federation and encourages Units to take part in the Walk for Wildlife now till May 22. It’s just one way girls can reconnect with the natural world.
What do you think?
By Mary, GGC staff