Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Sanborn Summer Staff: True Professionals

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Mentor, Leader, Youth Development Professional

There has been quite a bit of buzz about camps recently. The New York Times ran a number of articles in its Motherlode parenting blog over the weekend. In one, Dan Fleshler doubts the resume building value of working as a camp counselor, and in the other, Michael Thompson extolls the benefits of having college-aged camp counselors who can “out-parent” parents. Finally, KJ Dell’Antonia struggles as a new-to-camp, first-time camp parent who wonders, “Is It Too Late to Send Myself to Camp?

All of these articles speak to the education and human development that occurs at camp. The campers grow, the staff grow. The American Camp Association has detailed the 13 Core Competencies that camp staff members will develop while they work at camp.

As a camp counselor, you will gain professional skills that are applicable to many future careers. Staff learn skills that enhance Youth and Adult Growth and Development. They are exposed to and design different Learning Environments and Curricula. Program Planning allows counselors room for creativity, innovation, and developing advanced organization and teaching skills. Counselors learn how to Observe, Assess, and Evaluate the efficacy of their teaching and counseling skills. They develop Professionalism and Leadership by working with career camp staffers who truly understand the larger place of camp in the “whole education” of every child. Young counselors recognize the value of Health and Wellness for both themselves, campers and within the creation of work/life balance. Staff members practice Risk Management–in urban, rural and extreme outdoor environments. Cultural Competence allows staff to develop respect for, an understanding of and for ALL people, no matter what their background. Counselors make connections with Families and Communities that provide the opportunity to expand their own networks as well as help them see the positive impact of their job. Children and adults who have positive experiences with Nature and Environment are happier, healthier and smarter…and ALL of our camp counselors are nature counselors. Sanborn has incredibly progressive Business Management and Practices and policies, and many senior staff have the opportunity to manage other staff members and receive professional training on business leadership and management. At camp, Human Resources Management doesn’t stop after counselors are hired…counselors are given regular formal and informal feedback about their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement so they can improve immediately and transfer those improvements to the campers. Camp staff also engage in Site and Facilities Management while they are responsible for the upkeep and care of expensive camping equipment, camp vehicles, and the overall care of the facilities…plus they are teaching campers how to care for those things, too.

“Why Kids Need Nature”: WE AGREE

Friday, March 4th, 2011

We found a great article on the Children and Nature Network web site this morning: Why Kids Need Nature. At Sanborn we more than understand the value of kids spending time in nature, and we love being able to share more research about the importance of it with others.

I wonder what that tastes like?

Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine interviewed Richard Louv to gain more insight into why it is important for children’s well-being to spend time outdoors and how parents are able to expose their children to nature. Louv explains that time in nature can help fight obesity, depression, and ADD as well as help kids activate their brains (in a different way than school provides) and utilize all their senses. Including their sense of wonder which we emphasize in our summer camps and school weeks programs. It can be hard for parents and children to find the time and space to explore nature. Sports, clubs, meetings, homework all take time during already busy family schedules. Not many neighborhoods have the space for kids to run and play freely.

Louv explains that it is understandable that parents are hesitant to send their kids out to explore unsupervised, but that he finds more and more parents spending time outdoors with their children. We believe that not only kids benefit from nature, but adults as well! Louv states, ”Nature is good for everyone’s mental health.” It is fun for parents to get out with their children and go on scavenger hunts around the yard and neighborhood and take a break from work and for a hike in the woods. The more enthusiastic parents are, the more excited their children will be about their abilities to explore.

“Nature isn’t the problem; it’s the solution.” The Children and Nature Network recognizes the challenges parents may face taking the initiative to take their children outdoors and provide parents with local resources and ideas. We at Sanborn also try to provide resources and ideas for parents and children to reconnect with nature. Here are just a few:

Beyond 101 Nature Activities

New Adventures

Ariella and the Wild Animals

A Small Sounds Tapestry

Time for a Special Place

Kids ARE Strong

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Stronger Than Ever!

Amy Chua is right about at least one thing in her controversial new book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”.  She

“assumes strength, not fragility” for her children.  We agree.  Children are inherently strong—we have seen this over and over again in our 60 + years of running a long term residential summer camp.

“But my child can’t be away from home for a month!”  Of course he can.  Given the opportunity, he will first survive and then thrive.  He will learn that he can make his own way in the world, that he can make friends, that he can find his own shoes, that he can work with a team and make decisions for himself. He will gain a solid foundation for self-confidence based on the knowledge that he can be independent.

She will learn that she can saddle a horse, carry a 30 pound backpack for five days along mountain paths, climb to the top of a 14,000’ mountain. And along the way, she will also gain self-confidence based on achieving real and challenging accomplishments.  No one needs to offer praise to a young person who stands on the summit of a Fourteener—the accomplishment speaks for itself.

Kings of the Mountains

Children are not only strong, they are inherently resilient.  Much more than 90% of the relationships they form with peers and college age counselors at camp are based on friendship, teamwork, and positive communication.  Camp friendships often last through life—and these friendships are formed in an environment where there was no parent watching over the interrelationship as it developed.

And, what about the 10% of relationships that create a challenge?  Here is the perfect opportunity to learn positive conflict resolution skills—skills that an astonishingly large number of adults still have trouble with.

We’re not drilling math problems or providing practice sessions on the violin, but everything we do at camp celebrates the strength of young people.  And the skills we practice in this environment are the social and emotional skills which young people need to learn to grown into happy, successful adults.  What could be more important?

More Support For Children’s Play

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Camps have known about the importance and power of play for a long time. As outdoor educators and youth development professionals we do all that we can to promote children’s use of imagination, creative play, developing relationships, understanding of self and others, self-esteem, and appreciation for the outdoors (to name a few).

Research has been done and published promoting these lessons and the chance for children to play and explore. The New York Times published an article today about efforts made to promote play. This article supports our parents’ efforts to encourage their children to use their imaginations, disengage from video games, computers, and TV. We have long recognized and try to share the importance of free play and getting kids outdoors as a way to take advantage of imaginative play. Children need recess, camp, time in the backyard to develop and refine the life and relationship skills that are hard to learn in the classroom or on the soccer team.

Central Park hosted the Ultimate Block Party in October to promote the importance of play in children’s lives. While the party’s over, the Web site provides additional resources and research for parents. Just looking at the number of sponsors and endorsements the group received was inspiring for me to see the number of people and organizations that support the movement to get children playing.

Throughout the past year we have shared ideas and benefits of creative and imaginative play with our readers. As I searched our archives and reread what we’ve written, I realized that I couldn’t share every post that we’ve written, so I tried to limit the links (as hard as it was).  These are just a few links to check out some of our ideas for helping children and parents helping their children get back to unstructured (while supervised) play: Snowy Day ActivitiesBring on the Sunscreen,Parent Lessons from CampGo Play OutdoorsHooray for the Wild ChildMore PlayTime for a Special PlaceAdventures with the 5 Senses, and Reconnect With Your Sense of Wonder. Sometimes children just need props to get their creative juices flowing and other times we try to provide limited guidance to help children feel comfortable with the idea of free play.

With greater recognition, support, and effort we can all help children reconnect with their childhood and enjoy playing again.

Ariella and the Wild Animals

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Hanging up the "Carrot Chain"

Two of our favorite winter and holiday season children’s books are Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett and The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes. Using the beautiful weather and our multiple readings over the last week as inspiration, the boys and I went out this weekend to create/decorate an “animal tree” to help the animals celebrate the holidays with some special treats. Little did I know it would become a rather “special treat” and a memorable story of outdoor adventure for all of us.

We sat on the ground and hung apple slices on string loops, made a rather unique “carrot chain”, and spent most of the afternoon slathered with peanut butter from the peanut butter birdfeeders we made. After my sons rolled some “peanut butter balls” under the car (“Rolling peanut butter balls under the car is a good choice if we were actually looking to adopt a small fuzzy animal as an in-vehicle mascot—but it is a bad choice when we are trying to sell the car”) and playing a long game of “keep the pinecone away from the dog”—we carried all of our completed treasures out to our chosen animal tree.

In Annie and the Wild Animals, Annie is looking for a new pet (her cat, Taffy, has disappeared)—and hopes that by leaving homemade corn cakes at the edge of the wood, an appropriately fuzzy pet will arrive and cure her loneliness. In The Christmas Cat, an abandoned cat is rescued by a nameless, highly compassionate man who arrives in the woods bearing gifts of food for all

The Birds are REALLY Excited

of the woodland creatures.

As we decorated the animal tree, our conversation turned toward the similarities of the two books and we came up with these take-aways:
• Cats are THE pet to have (“Mom, please! We really NEED a cat!”)
• Woodland animals really like people food (“just like Sula!”-our dog)
• Animals like surprises, too
• Being lonely isn’t very fun

Yet, just like the cosmic irony that kept attracting every giant creature of the woods to Annie’s corn cakes, I discovered the very next morning that—no matter what the books say—when you get up and go outside, amazing things happen.

Early the next day, by the light of Orion’s belt and nothing else, my people-food-eating dog and I set out for a run—and this is where I realized some of our take-aways were slightly off:
• Dogs are THE pet to have…especially when there are giant animals in your yard
• Woodland animals really DO like people food—A LOT

Animal Tree in Progress

• Animals DON’T really like surprises
• Being alone in the dark might actually be better than being alone in the dark with a lot of other really large wild creatures which are big enough to make your people-food-eating dog bark in a way that makes you think YOU are about to BE “people-food.”

So the animal tree was a success, AND I incorporated some wind-sprints into my early morning routine. After sharing my tale of crashing elk (or something) in our yard, my son said, “Wow! Now we need to get MORE animals to come! We need to get some salmon for the bears, some meat for the coyotes, more carrots for the rabbits, some

hay for the deer, more seeds for the mice, and ……”

….maybe another dog.

-Post by Ariella Rogge

Time for a Special Place: Part I

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Rachel Carson...sitting on A-Bluff???

Over the weekend, I had the luxury of time.  This seems an odd statement, as most of my weekend was dedicated to planning, presenting or attending sessions at Stalking Education in the Wild, yet—as I reflected—I realized those very sessions gave me a gift that my day-to-day woodland living and working doesn’t always provide.

As I checked the sessions off with each passing hour, I was bemused by the “lack of time” I had to present my information.  Suddenly it was 2:30: time to channel Rachel Carson and head out for my session titled, “The Naturalists.”  One early line of questioning was, “What is a naturalist? And what do naturalists do?”  Answers were varied, from “not much” to “lots of scientific exploration”—and I realized that, in order for our children to become naturalists in their own right…they have to KNOW a place.  And knowing a place takes time.

Ahhh...THIS is A-Bluff

Rachel Carson didn’t have any more time than I do…in fact, with the fiscal and familial responsibilities she took on as an adult (she wasn’t married or ever had children of her own—but she supported many of her extended family throughout her lifetime), she probably had less.  Yet the time she did have—prior to becoming a vocal environmentalist—was spent outdoors: wondering, writing, thinking, observing, and enjoying the natural world.  And, if my telepathic abilities are correct, a great many of those outdoor experiences occurred when she was a child.

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “The future of mankind is dependent on every human being intimately associated with a half acre of ground.” Richard Louv and others in the both the environmental and Children In Nature movement have demonstrated that in order to care deeply about the natural world you have to have spent time in a special outdoor place that is all your own.  This sentiment is echoed by Louise Chawla:

The special places that stood out in memory, where people formed a first bond with the natural world, were always part of the regular rhythm of life: the garden or nearby lake or forest where people played as children, the summer cabin or grandparents’ farm that was visited repeatedly in the course of growing up, favorite hiking trails during the university years. In these places, people became comfortable with being out in the natural world, usually alone or with a small group of family or friends.

What is the young naturalist's favorite fungi? The Puffball Mushroom

We are just as busy as Rachel Carson, and some of us may feel even more fragmented by the daily demands of our lives.  Yet when I came back from my two hour walk in the woods, shocked and amazed by the tiniest bugs I discovered in my “Investigation Frame”, relaxed and calm in the face of feeding and putting two young boys to bed before my final session of the day, thoughtful and quiet within my own understanding of my place in this rather large universe, I saw the lovely simplicity of a quiet walk, or sit, in this place I am fortunate enough to call home.

Summer Camp: The Kitchen of Human Relations

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Happy Campers: An essential ingredient

Beyond the incredible opportunities for personal growth, exposure to the natural world, and the connection (or reconnection) with one’s sense of wonder, camp provides campers a unique opportunity to build a community from the ground up.

Building these communities is a little like baking at high altitudes: there are plenty of modifications to the recipe you can try…but you are never sure exactly which one is going to work.

Take our recipe for a FANTASTIC cabin/unit community at Sanborn:

9-10 happy campers
2 dedicated, attentive counselors
1 personable, knowledgeable assistant counselor
3 tons of positive attitude
1 ton of mutual respect
100 lbs. of integrity
18 gallons of flexibility
10 quarts of compromise
80 lbs of problem solving techniques
5 buckets of perseverance
5 buckets of resilience
1 truckload of empathy
A bunch of new experiences
A dash (or 200) into the outdoors  for new perspective
An infinite number of amazing opportunities and fun to be had!

Teambuilding activities build community

That said, sometimes campers or staff unintentionally modify our ideal recipe.  Occasionally, some snarky comment gets spilled in, or a selfish behavior is added, or—in some cases—an entire ingredient is forgotten or substituted.  And, like the high altitude cake with incorrect modifications, you find yourself with a crumbly, grumbly, salty mess on your hands.

Yet unlike the adult world, where it is sometimes more admissible (and far easier) to just cut your losses and walk away…at camp, these are the people you are living and working with for the rest of your summer.  You have to figure out what went wrong and try to fix it…otherwise, your summer simply won’t be as sweet.

You never expect the first cake you bake at 8,600 feet will turn out perfectly (though you do hope it will be edible)—similarly, you cannot expect the desires, wills, values, beliefs, emotions, and hormones of 13 unique individuals to always line up and converge in perfect harmony.  So you tinker with the ingredients: you teach the staff some new problem solving techniques, spend time getting to know each camper very well, and you show everyone support, gratitude, forgiveness and empathy along the way.

Fun and silliness at camp!

It is easy to get frustrated with a crumbly cake or with someone you are living with…but the cake won’t respond to your irritation or anger any better than a person.  So, through the daily mix of ingredients in our living units, on trips, on activities, and everywhere at camp, we create a unique and ephemeral “Daily Special.”  Because of all the factors involved, a day at camp cannot be repeated.  Each day is unique, it never has been, or ever will be the same again.  Some leave a bit of a sour taste in your mouth, others will represent the high point of your life for many years to come.

At the heart of camp, just like at the heart of cooking, is the playful spirit and desire for fun, wholesome experiences—the experiences that all campers and staff are seeking from their summer in the Colorado mountains.

And the best part?  There are NEVER too many cooks in this kitchen.

The Sad Letter…Why You Might Be Happy to Get One

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Signing up for trips in the yurt

As parents (and, perhaps, former campers ourselves), we have so many expectations for our own child’s camp experience. Thus, if we receive a sad letter from our child while he or she is at camp…we are truly disappointed.

Our first instinct is to call camp and make sure everything is alright (visions of our son or daughter sobbing alone under a tree are not uncommon). This, in most cases, results in a calming conversation with either Mike or Julie, or our child’s counselor or ridge leader.

Many children, and plenty of adults, suffer from some degree of homesickness while they are away from home. How we, as parents, deal with the occasional “sad” letter speaks volumes to our child about how much we believe in their ability to deal with adversity. That said, it is INCREDIBLY hard for us as parents to stand back and allow our child to develop his or her own resilience…especially when WE were the one who put them in this position in the first place.

A letter from a first session parent accurately describes this emotional dichotomy in an incredibly healthy way. By communicating her concern, providing specific information, and asking for the necessary reassurance from camp, this mother was able to get past the “sad” letter and get solid information about the health and well being of her daughter without directly impacting the daughter’s camp experience.

Always laughing at High Trails

I have received two letters from my daughter so far.   One of the best things she wrote was that she and one of her cabinmates were laughing so hard so couldn’t breathe.  I can imagine her having SO much fun!  In the second letter though, she expressed some homesickness.  I am sure you guys deal with this every day but I just wanted to pass it along so you can share it with her counselors.  She  can often hold her feelings inside and no one would even know she might feel sad.

In her letter she wrote, “I miss you SO much. It hurts so bad. I want you to come visit and I need you. Please come!” Of course as a mother, I want to step in and give her a big hug and make her feel better. So perhaps, you can give me some guidance. I cannot drop everything and come visit, and I am guessing that would not be a wise solution. Maybe she is doing fine and just wrote at a moment of sadness.

I am not sure if you ever allow kids to phone their parents or if that would help. Please pass this along to her counselors and any advice you have for me would be greatly appreciated.

On the whole, phone calls home are even harder than sad letters for both the campers and their parents. It is not unusual, if a child does call, for there to be much sobbing and begging…only to be followed by that child joyously running out of the lodge with an enormous grin on her face ready to go on her river trip….and a very distraught mom or dad on the other end of the phone.

We encourage parents who may be concerned about possible homesickness to avoid making promises like, “If you can’t make it the full term, I’ll come pick you up whenever you want.” This sets the camper up for failure because he or she will have a hard time seeking personal strength and seeing their own positive growth if the camper knows he/she has an easy way out.

As youth development professionals and parents ourselves, when our campers are homesick it hurts us as much as it hurts you. We have trained ourselves and our staff in effective homesick management techniques, and our directors and senior staff are constantly supporting the staff with the implementation of those techniques.

Loving every minute of camp!

The insight shared when our first session mother said, “Maybe she is doing fine and just wrote at a moment of sadness…” is outstanding. We all have our “moments,” and we all turn to those we love and trust most during our challenging times. So think of the “sad” letter as a gift—the recognition from your child that you ARE the safe haven and pillar of strength they need…even in spirit…to help them get through this challenge and grow stronger on their own.

In the end, we received a short follow up from our homesick camper’s mom, “She had a BLAST at Sanborn!!! She is ready to go back next year. Thanks again for everything, you all are awesome!”

…and being ready to come back to camp next year?…THAT is the best (and only) cure for “campsickness” around.

Teaching By Being: How We Teach Campers

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Much of the impact we have as youth development professionals happens just because we are role models.  Campers look to their counselors for guidance, wisdom, and to learn more about the people they want to become.  The quote, “act as though what you do makes a difference,” is a perfect line for camp counselors–because who you are as much as what you do DOES make a difference.  Here is a list of 10 ways to help teach your campers essential life skills, to build a strong relationship with your camper, and to model happy, healthy, and enriching behaviors.

Summit Success on Mount Silverheels

1.  Respect:  A camper who is treated with respect at camp will have self-respect.  He will learn to cooperate and have empathy for others.

2.  Listening:  Listen to your campers’ stories, hopes, and worries.  Hear them and respond.  They will learn to listen to others.

Singing "Rocky Mountain High" at the start of a backpacking trip.

3.  Patience:  A camper who sees you are not afraid of failure, who sees you fiinish what you begin, will try, try again until he succeeds.

4.  Trust:  Keep your promises.  Your campers will be trustworthy.

5.  Work:  A camper who shares in the daily work at camp will learn to be responsible.

Practicing the art of the lasso, Big Spring Barn

6.  Honesty:  If a camper is taught and shown how to respect the truth, if he sees justice used to solve problems at home, he will know right from wrong.

7.  Time:  All children, not only at camp, spell love T-I-M-E.  If your camper owns enough one-on-one time with you each day, she will have confidence because she knows she has value.

Reading stories around the campfire together

8.  Downtime:  Give your campers time to read, reflect and dream for at least 20 minutes every day.  They will learn to take time for themselves.  They will learn to concentrate.  They will forget how to be “bored.” They will learn critical thinking and be set free to dream.

9.  Writing:  Give your camper time and encouragement to write in or draw in a journal.  Praise his efforts.  He will carry these efforts away to home and school.  He will connect writing with enjoyment and will then write with and for pleasure.

Great staff members help build great campers!

10.  Habits:  Campers need quiet time every day.  They need a good night’s sleep and regular meals of wholesome food, instead of sugar snacks.  They need to wash their hands and use good manners with everyone.  They need to be outdoors, instead of watching TV and playing video games.  Good habits make good campers.

Go Play Outdoors

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The research has been done.  The results are staggering.  Children spend less time in the outdoors than EVER before in human history.  And the impact of this fact will, inevitably, profoundly shift how our children, and our children’s children view their connection with and within this natural world.

West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief

In his excellent, and well-researched West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief Steven Kotler posits that “what we believe governs what we see.”  Basically, our belief systems (from religious, to spiritual, to biological, and back again) govern our perceptions—and what we perceive is the real world—Reality—is nothing more, or less, than what we believe.  Kotler’s concern, same as mine, is grounded in the current trend that has the human species moving farther and farther away from the natural world.  In essence, we are ignoring or shunning basic biological imperatives that allow us to see, to create, to value interconnections in the very natural world from which we came.

Not so, you say.  Our children (and some of us) are making connections and raising the collective consciousness through the strategic use of internet technologies, globalization, and instant access to information.  Yet in this environment of overwhelming information access, our human-animal brains are being put to the test.

Kotler frames his argument about the origins of our belief in both current and older brain research and studies.  Much of our “human-ness” comes from our ability to manage both “logos” and “mythos.”  Logos—or logic—is “information of the no-nonsense variety:  practical, clinical, scientific, secular.”  Mythos—or myth–is a “way to give meaning to events that exist beyond easy context.”    We are deeply entrenched in a culture that celebrates logos, bringing to mind the line and cultural motifs from The Matrix, “The world as it was at the end of the 20th century”.  A culture that, by and large, now shuns myth.  Myth was long believed to be an outward representation/explanation of our inner selves.   Our creation of personal “myth” explains the inexplicable, allows us to describe the indescribable, gives us the context to make sense and meaning in a world of random suffering, pain, and death.

Images of Haiti by Allison Kwesell

In the current scientific climate, however, subjectivity is out, and objectivity rules.  When we are confronted with glaring economic issues,  complex political initiatives, and public health conundrums—there are those who utilize logos in its myriad forms to find “a solution.”  Yet when those situations involve environmental paradoxes where human wants and needs trump multiple species, or when whole cities or nations of suffering humans seem to become “an issue”—that is our logos attempting to usurp our mythos.  We don’t connect, we think.

The Great Bower Bird

For all of that thinking, we are still losing ground in certain ways—and our connection with ritual is one of those.  If you watch the elaborate mating ritual of the Bower Bird during this last month’s seminal Discovery Channel series, Life , or the battle of the Giant Bullfrogs, or the painstaking (and multi-year) guidance a mother orangutan provides to her child, it becomes easy to understand that all of the natural world is governed by ritual.  And, yes Virginia, we are part of that natural world, too.

Meaning, for humans, is created through layers and layers of ritual.  This evolution of ritual eventually created a schema, or thought pattern, that made us want to know why something happened.  This desire to know why is one of the characteristics that make us uniquely human.  The “logos” sciences have helped us tremendously in this area.  I am happy to know that my toddler son’s runny nose is actually caused by a virus that my preschool son brought home and somehow shared with him (think prolific nose-picker) and not by a malevolent spirit (though I do wonder what possesses the nose-picker, sometimes…).

The cognitive imperative to seek out  “the answers to life’s persistent questions” is not only the charge of Guy Noir, it is inherent—biologically and neurologically—in each one of us.  Because of this, we have to reconnect our kids with nature because—without it–they are actually losing part of their evolutionary intelligence, health, and disrupting their neurochemistry.

Wild Turkeys on the move at Sanborn Western Camps

For example, if a child is completely disconnected from the food cycle, and has no idea that the meat in front of her was once living—or if that child knows that the sandwich she is eating was once, in some other place and time, a living, breathing turkey, yet she has no experience with “Turkey”—how will she be able to truly know to ask why. (Why am I eating this? How did this turkey live and die? Why does turkey taste so terrific?  What will happen to me when I die?)  And when she does bother to ask why, she’ll find a number of nutrition charts on line that define the essence of “Turkey” as its caloric value and place on the food pyramid…but nothing that allows her to experience “Turkey” in all of its squawking, fluffing, and preening glory. Nor will she be able to find anything that will give her the respect, understanding, and empathy toward a once living creature who has now arrived in a neatly package, hermetically sealed, plastic container on her lunch tray.

We are short circuiting our brains because we cannot make connections to the very world that has sustained us for the last 6,000 years.  Candice Pert writes in her book, Molecules of Emotion,

There is a plethora of elegant neurophysiological data suggesting that the nervous system is not capable of taking in everything, but can only scan the outer world for material that it is prepared to find by virtue of its wiring hook ups, its own internal patterns, and its past experiences.”  If our children scan the world in 50 years, and haven’t explored and played in the outdoors, then how will they ever understand its value and seek to preserve it?

The current logic and trends say they won’t….but with the continued efforts and wisdom of  camping professionals, educators, eco-visionaries, environmental activists, parents, youth development professionals, surfers, brain researchers, scientists, spiritual advisors, nature-lovers, active individuals, the health-conscious, and other progressive fields and industries—we are swinging the pendulum back to a more connected, present, and happier place: our backyards, parks, camps, natural recreation areas….our world.

The adventures never end....

Reconnect with nature.

Reconnect with others.

Reonnect with yourself.

Reconnect with wonder.

Go play outdoors.