Saturday, June 23, is National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Backyard Campout day.
On this day thousands of people across the U.S. will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in a one-night event that will provide an experience for all generations to open the door and sleep out under the stars.
Why is this important?
In case you haven’t noticed, the nature of childhood is not what it used to be. For many kids, there’s not much nature in it: today’s kids between 8 and 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes staring at electronic screens. And in a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9 – 13 play outside on their own.
The American childhood has moved indoors during the last two decades, taking a mental, physical and spiritual toll on today’s kids.
Hence the idea of The Great American Backyard Campout!
Children love sleeping outdoors for a night, whether in the backyard or further afield. Telling scary stories and toasting marshmallows round an open fire, and then sleeping beneath the stars, is a thrilling adventure and a great way to share time together outside.
Here are some tips for camping parties:
• Find a good place to camp, whether it’s the backyard, a local farm, or a campsite.
• Make sure everyone has a really warm sleeping bag and extra clothes.
• You don’t need a tent: sleeping out under the stars on a fine clear night is wonderful. Or try making your own shelter.
• Take a few treats such as marshmallows and games.
• Have fun!
I don’t know about you, but I always feel better when I have spent time outdoors. As the poet Terry Tempest Williams wrote, “Nature quiets the mind by engaging with an intelligence larger than our own.”
Now go camp out and enjoy!
Photo Credit: Rosemary In Time
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