In his recent book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv talks about summer camp serving as a healthy response to our modern tendency to be “plugged in” (to electronic media) and “in motion” (between school, lessons, sports practice, etc.). He writes, “as the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow— physiologically and psychologically. This reduces the richness of human experience.” Children these days are suffering from a serious disorder that negatively affects their lives and well-being into their adult lives.
Combating Nature Deficit Disorder
At the same time, there’s something magical about the sort of sustained exposure to nature camps provide. Louv sites an amazing array of studies linking nature experience and healthy child development, and concludes “I believe that offering children direct contact with nature— getting their feet wet and hands muddy— should be at the top of the list of vital camp experiences.” Summer camp is the antidote!