Reconnect Children to Nature

 

Kids today have limited direct experience with the outdoors and even more so over the last year. This is a summary of points presented by Cheryl Charles, Nature Deficit Disorder Special Edition Contributor (Education.com) who advocates the reconnection of our children to nature and outlines the benefits of nature on children.

Although this study was done in 2006, with all that has gone on this year, it is even more relevant today.  According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (2005, 2006), kids spend as much as 60 hours a week involved in electronic media. 

 

Research indicates that one of the best antidotes to a stressful lifestyle is to spend time in natural settings outdoors. Children who spend time outdoors are more likely to be happier, healthier, smarter, more cooperative, better problem solvers and more creative. 

 

A substantial body of work indicates that going outside reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit disorders. Results are dramatic for people of all ages. 

Natural environments nurture the qualities that children require to become healthy, happy and successful people. 

Redwood Country Day Camp holds a pro-nature philosophy at the helm of it's ethos. We want our campers to reap the many benefits of outside play, while learning to respect the world, to respect each other and to become stuarts of our environment. While improving as individuals, they will learn to take care of our living systems and make informed, decisions in the future that will lead to responsible action. 

 

All children deserve to commune with nature. 

 

Research from Germany suggests that Redwood Country Day Camp's emphasis on art is good for our brains. 

 

Cognitive research out of Germany suggests that the production of visual art helps to improve interaction within the brain. The study was conducted on a small population of newly retired individuals, and suggests that the creation of visual art can actually negate age-related decline of brain function. Doing art can clean up your brain. 

 

At Redwood, we believe in letting all of our campers express themselves, and hope to help them reach their full potential. Self expression and creation are important for healthy self-esteem, which is why it is incorporated into regular programming. Here campers take part in dance, beading, pottery and general arts on a regular basis. Redwood's goal is to introduce our campers to many artistic mediums, in hopes of igniting passions and nurturing existing skills. 

 

To find out more about art benefit research, visit the link below. 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/08/how-art-changes-your-brain_n_5567050.html

Making Art is good for your Brain

 

One chapter ends, another begins

 

The following is an article that was written by an alumni staff member.  It reflects on the benefits of camp, as we  come to the end of each summer and it gives newcomers a peak into how they will feel when they  have spent a bit of their summer at Redwood.

 

"Every summer is a chance to take a step out of the hard pace of life, take everything you’ve learned so far and just roll with it. When it ends, we’ve spent so much time taking it in that we don’t realize how much we’ve learned. 

 

That’s why we shouldn’t be sad that camp is ending. Sure, we’re all going to miss our friends and the fun we’ve had at Redwood. But, it’s important to remember that during our time here we grow as individuals. We become stronger, more confident and more self assured - defended by the knowledge that there will always be a place where we are accepted and our ideas are taken seriously. 

 

Plus, they’ll always be time for another game of Gagaball. 

 

So, as camp closes, we need to take everything we’ve been given and put it  into our non-summer lives. We need to live life the way we live at Redwood, by having as much fun as possible while remembering respect, openness, community and kindness.

 

From personal experience I know a lot of you are natural funsters. You’re always capable of putting a smile on my face. Keep up the energy and spread it to anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to have an experience as awesome as you did. 

 

And remember, you are not leaving Redwood, a little bit of Redwood is leaving with you."

 

 ~ James McCafferty,  Camp Editor of the Redwood Adventure Newspaper ~