With the Children and Nature Network’s release of their Annual Report, those of us at camp are energized by the direction and momentum of the entire Children in Nature movement. Because of our dedicated work, we are seeing an explosion of information, activities, legislation, and nation-wide research that is shifting the cultural paradigm back to carefree, nature and play based childhood experiences.
Camp is just one opportunity to get kids outdoors, but it is a powerful one because it cements the lessons learned in the natural world with a sense of independence and self-efficacy. We have always believed that our counselors should be “nature counselors”—and our staff training reflects that belief.
One tool we utilize with our staff is our Nature Assessment System—a mnemonic which helps teach staff and children to not only utilize ALL of their senses in the outdoors, but also helps them develop their sixth sense: the sense of Wonder.
As we enter into this season of wonder, excitement, magic, travel, and adventure we hope you will all take a moment to be IN the moment outside with your friends and family. We hope you will take the time to savor the outdoor experience and reconnect with the sense of wonder and promise that has helped shape and define you. And, more than anything, we hope you will share that wonder of the natural world with a child.
So ask lots of questions—like Why?, keep your eyes Open, remember a few Nature nuggets, have some Deep thoughts, consider the Environment, and remember to Relax and enjoy the moment.
If you are a passionate advocate for the Children in Nature movement—please consider visiting the Children and Nature Network to learn more about starting your own family nature club, joining the Natural Teachers or Natural Leaders network, or by becoming a founding member of their Friends of Children in Nature.
Over the years, Colorado Outdoor Education Center and Sanborn Western Camps have been blessed with generous donations from friends, parents, staff and alums to The Sandy and Laura Sanborn Scholarship Fund. In 2010, this fund provided 100 scholarships to campers and 85 scholarships to outdoor education students to help create that essential connection with the natural world which meant so much to Laura and Sandy Sanborn back in 1948—and is even more important today.