The Importance of Nature in Childhood
“Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health (and also, by the way, in our own).”
― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
A week ago we said goodbye to approximately 120 campers for the summer. Part of my role is that I take about 30 of them to the airport, and due to the nature of kids traveling by airplane, the campers get their cell phones back for the trip home. These kids who were detached from their smartphones for the summer were instantaneously sucked back in. Many of them spent the few hours at the airport exclusively on their phones instead of spending time with friends who they weren’t going to see until next summer.
There is no doubt that devices aren’t going anywhere, but it is up to each of us to help our campers/children find a balance. We don’t advocate totally cutting technology out of your kids lives, but finding that balance and setting boundaries is vitally important. Your kids have shown that they are capable of existing for a whole month (or two) without their favorite devices. Use that as a springboard for finding that balance back home.
only will our campers leave North Star with great memories of their time
catching frogs, fishing on the lakes and paddling down rivers, but that
when they are telling their own kids about their memories from
childhood, these are the stories that they’ll tell. We will continue to
not only disconnect campers from their devices for the summer, but also
create an environment where our campers can discover the role that
nature and the outdoors can play in their lives.