Another article has come our way (thanks Bird!) about the value of outdoor experience for kids. It’s “Time Outdoors Gives Kids a Big Boost” by Tom Stienstra of the San Francisco Chronicle. The article is about an initiative in California to recognize a “Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights,” a document declaring that every child should have certain opportunities connected to the outdoor world. It lists ten things every child should do:
- 1. Discover California’s past.
2. Splash in water.
3. Play in a safe place.
4. Camp under the stars.
5. Explore nature.
6. Learn to swim.
7. Play on a team.
8. Follow a trail.
9. Catch a fish.
10. Celebrate his or her heritage.
And quotes Gov. Schwarzenegger.
“Parents could start by applying the lessons to themselves and sharing the outdoor experiences with their children… I believe that learning outdoor skills should be a required class.”
The connections here to summer camp, of course, are strong. After all, it’s what camp does every day— we splash, play, climb, camp out, explore and discover, celebrate and learn… all in the context of being outside. It would be great to see some of this implemented in schools, but at the very least, we know that camp is a great start.