In an article titled ‘Leave No Child Inside’ in the current issue of Orion Magazine Richard Louv writes;
Yes, there are risks outside our homes. But there are also risks in raising children under virtual protective house arrest: threats to their independent judgment and value of place, to their ability to feel awe and wonder, to their sense of stewardship for the Earth—and, most immediately, threats to their psychological and physical health. The rapid increase in childhood obesity leads many health-care leaders to worry that the current generation of children may be the first since World War II to die at an earlier age than their parents. Getting kids outdoors more, riding bikes, running, swimming—and, especially, experiencing nature directly—could serve as an antidote to much of what ails the young.
Scouting was born of a desire to foster direct contact with the world of nature. Maintaining this connection remains crucial to our continued success and relevance.
Louv is the author of Last Child in the Woods, a book that examines the relationship of a child’s emotional, intellectual and physical development with the time they spend outdoors. The book has given rise to the Children & Nature Network. Their website features some impressive resources in the form of studies, reports and articles making the case for the importance of direct contact with the natural world.
Last Child in the Woods at Amazon