Beat Nature Deficit Disorder - Go to Camp!
Children's summer camps have always been the ultimate tool to combat NDD by encouraging true, old fashioned, outdoor play!
It's no surprise that parents often feel overwhelmed and exhausted just looking at their "To Do" lists, but lately, I feel overwhelmed and exhausted just keeping up with my blog lists! There are so many blogs out there and so many of them are actually really good. I find myself losing hours of valuable work time because the lure of "how to become a better person" is constant. I read blogs on everything; how to meditate (that worked for 48 hours), redoing a kitchen on small budgets (postponed until I spend 100+ hours on Pinterest), how to help kids do their homework without doing it for them (passed this one off to my husband), the list goes on and on. I love the attempt at becoming a better person and sometimes I feel better just thinking about becoming a better person. But, what if you want to do more than THINK about improving yourself but don't have hours to put these steps into action? Well, my good news for the day is that without even knowing it, you have already ticked off and implemented one of today's hottest topics: Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).
We've heard these three words before and we've all seen the stats. Today's youth are spending too much time with technology and too little time outdoors being kids. A recent post by the Washington Post titled "10 Ways to get your kid out in nature, and why it matters" states that spending time in nature has tremendous health benefits, among them improved concentration, a greater ability to engage in creative play, an aid to help treat mental illness (in particular ADHD and depression), and exercise that beats out organized sports with its hour-to-hour physical activity.
The article proceeds to list 10 ways you can incorporate nature into your child's lives ranging from looking outside your window on your commute to school to playing in your backyard in lieu of playing an organized sport. I'm not saying any of these 10 suggestions are wrong but if you really want to combat Nature Deficit Disorder, just keep doing what you're doing (or thinking about doing since you are already reading this guide), and send your kids to camp!
Children's summer camps have always been the ultimate tool to combat NDD by encouraging true, old fashioned, outdoor play! Many parents look at summer camps for a variety of amazing reasons since even a few short weeks away can do more for your child's confidence, independence and social skills than an entire year at school. So while you may spend hours making lists on the various pros and cons of each prospective camp, one thing you won't need to worry about is how each camp strives to combat NDD because, without even trying, a good old fashion outdoor summer camp is already doing it!
Now, for those of you who are still sitting on your smartphone and haven't jumped on the camp bandwagon just yet, don't stress, call a camp today and help your kids beat Nature Deficit Disorder in a flash. Your kids will thank you for it!
About the author: Margot Perlmutter is a Camp Director at Camp Tamakwa, a residential summer camp in Algonquin Park Ontario. With one of the most diversified outdoor recreational programs available, Tamakwa campers and staff members enjoy 80 years of rich traditions, core values, family atmosphere, and camp spirit, all in a beautiful Algonquin Park setting. Margot first attended Tamakwa as a camper in 1986 and continued for 10 years. After a decade in the advertising world, Margot decided to fulfill her passion and returned to help provide a new generation of campers with the same wonderful memories she enjoyed as a child. Margot is passionate about the environment and promoting a healthy lifestyle with good quality food for all campers and staff.