Camping and Babysitting skills
Heard an announcement on “local” NPR station for a Red Cross class that’s gives “8 to 11 years old the knowledge and confidence to safely baby-sit infant through toddlers.” Two things struck me about this: 1) it is good such a course is being offered; and, 2) but is this another example of how much has changed since my youth.
Baby-sitting was a major income source girls in the 11 to 14 years of age not that long ago and training for most girls, including myself, was taking care of your own siblings. What happened? Don’t older sisters “watch” their younger siblings anymore?
That question got me thinking about the changes Fred and I have noticed in campers. We recall, while growing up, everyone seemed to have some experience of the out-of-doors. We knew how the build a fire, what was and wasn’t edible in the woods, and, that, if you followed the flow of water you would eventual find a creek, than a stream, and than either a river or lake. This knowledge was learned from the adults, like our parents and troop leaders, in our lives.
What has happened to those adults? One grandson was a Cub Scout last year and never learned how to tie knots, build a campfire, or mark a trail. There was no instructions on how to prepare or cook a meal over an open campfire, read either the night or day sky, or how one should leave a campsite as good, if not better, than when you got there.
While some would say such knowledge is not as important as knowing use your Smart-phone, mastering the latest computer games, or working toward another academic objective, I would disagree.
The National Forest Foundation claims, “Between 1997 and 2003 the proportion of kids age 9 to 12 who spent time hiking, walking, fishing or otherwise enjoy nature declined 50 percent.” To me that reflects a decline in adults who got out-of-doors which is so sad.
Whether adult or youth, experiencing the out-of-doors, e.g. getting out and enjoying nature, has been proven to:
- Reduce stress and improve physical health.
- Increase test scores and improve attention span.
- Enhance creativity.
- Develop better self-confidence and initiative.
- Provide environmental knowledge and appreciation of the out-of-doors.
You don’t need a national forest, although it is a fabulous place option. Visit a city park, your backyard, or someplace that allows to commune with Mother Nature. Don’t wait for the someone to offer a class on how to get out and enjoy.
This entry was posted on Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 3:51 am and is filed under conservation, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.