School is out, and many kids are already spending hours inside glued to their electronic devices. To foster a healthy outdoor lifestyle it’s time for parents to boot them outside so they can benefit from some fresh air surrounded by a world of green. By Presidential proclamation, June is Great Outdoors Month so there is no better time to teach kids why it’s called the Great Outdoors.
A perfect place to start is by having your family participate in the 8th annual Great American Backyard Campout on June 23. National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) fundraising event encourages parents and kids alike to trade screen time for green time by spending a night under the stars.
Campers who register on NWF’s web site will have the chance to go behind-the-scenes with NWF celebrity naturalist David Mizejewski and some of his amazing wildlife friends. One lucky camper and a guest will win a trip to an upcoming NWF TV appearance in New York or Los Angeles.
In the last two decades, childhood has literally moved indoors with kids spending more than seven hours per day in front of electronic media. A new report from Common Sense Media finds that more than half of all American children under the age of eight have access to one of the newer mobile devices at home, and nearly one-third have a TV in their bedroom. At the same time, the American Academy of Pediatrics has cautioned parents to limit their young children’s screen time.
Studies show that outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances creativity and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. NWF’s report “The Dirt on Dirt: How Getting Dirty Outdoors Benefits Kids”, highlights how activities kids love, such as making mud pies, splashing in puddles and rolling down hillsides are actually a grubby prescription for health and happiness.
A night under the stars will help kids understand why it’s called the GREAT outdoors. Campout is a signature event of NWF’s Be Out There movement which has a goal of engaging 10 million new kids in outdoor play over the next three years. The Great American Backyard Campout lets kids explore a whole other world right in their own backyard, together with neighbors,with friends at a local camp ground, or at a large community camping event. For those looking to camp beyond their own backyard, the Campout website helps locate organized Campouts across the country.
When you register your Campout on National Wildlife Federation’s web site you get helpful information to make your camping experience a fun one including campfire recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, campfire songs and games, nature activities and much more. You’ll also be able to fundraise for NWF’s conservation programs and win exciting prizes.
REI and the Coleman Company are proud to be national sponsors of the Great American Backyard Campout. Both companies share NWF’s commitment to getting kids and their families outdoors as part of a healthy lifestyle.
National Wildlife Federation inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.
For information, visit www.backyardcampout.org.