call of the wild

“direct experience in nature is the most important aspect of the camp experience.”-richard louv (author who coined the term nature-deficit disorder)

one of the greatest rewards of working at summer camps is the amount of time you spend outside…while this is especially true for the summer camp staff, it is also true for the young people in our society, too–the ones we call campers…who spend just a week there…

whether the focus is sports, music, art, horses, academics, service, or faith…summer outdoor camps can be so very important for our young people…young people who are most often plugged-in to some kind of device, like one of the characters from the matrix, for the majority of their days and nights [the matrix – a computer-generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into a battery]…so plugged-in that they sometimes forget or lose touch with what is real…so plugged-in that their world has been reduced to an alternate-reality-bubble of snap-chats, instant messages, texts, emails, posts, tweets, sound-bytes, and video-games…being plugged-in to nature raises the bar on any kind of synthetic or contrived distraction, attraction, or entertaining feature of the digital world…it is a healthy, stimulating, unpredictable, and important alternative to the tech-stuff our youth are so closely attached to today…

“the postmodern notion that reality is only a construct–that we are what we program–suggests limitless human possibilities; but as the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of human experience…reducing that deficit–healing the broken bond between our young and nature–is in our self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demands it, but also because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depends upon it” (louv, 2008)…

proposition: when you hear the call of the wild…listen to it and herd dem catsoutside–you might like it, too;)

recommended reading: last child in the woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorder, richard louv, 2008.

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