Our kids will need to find a way to reconnect with our natural environment to become participants in a global effort to restore ecological balance. Environmental awareness begins with a sense of personal connection to nature.
How do parents bring back balance to a child’s experience? One answer has been around since the 1920’s: summer camp. Modern summer camps can guide kids back into a natural alliance with nature through the pure fun of movement. The challenges of summer camp are fun rather than stressful, but they are no less effective for developing a child’s sense of confidence and independence.
One good example of a modern “green” summer camp is Swift Nature Camp near Minong, Wisconsin. The directors have developed policies that promote camper experience perfectly attuned to the needs of the times, without sacrificing the great fun and memorable friendships that are the classic benefits of summer camp.
Jeff and Lonnie Lorenz, directors of Swift Nature Camp, begin with their policy on electronic devices. “We do not permit cellular phones, BlackBerries, pagers, radios, iPods, cassette or CD players, laser pens, TVs, Game Boys or digital cameras. They simply are not what camp is about.”
Swift Nature Camp combines traditional camp activities with ways to immerse themselves in and learn about nature is likeliest to succeed in inspiring environmental awareness in campers.