June 7, 2010 by: Ann Harwood
Montana Bear Spirit Lodge Tipi Fun
The National Wildlife Federation's Great American Backyard Campout is happening all over the U.S. on June 26th. What great memories of my childhood that backyard campout experience brings back! Growing up in central Florida in Lakeland, we used to regularly campout in the backyard in the 1950s. What fun to build a little campfire, and roast hot dogs, marshmallows and make S'Mores. We also told "ghost stories", made ghoul faces with our flashlights, and talked all night until the sunrise. Since I was a Camp Fire Girl, I got to do lots of outdoor things with a group of great girls. My Girl Scout friends invited me to do things with them like camping in the front yard of a beach house on the sparkling Gulf of Mexico near St. Petersburg in the 1960s.
Now in the year 2010, we are offering that experience to families with kids to stay in an authentic Native American tipi. According to the National Wildlife Federation,in the last two decades, childhood has literally moved indoors with kids spending almost eight hours per day in front of electronic media. Simply put, the nature of childhood has changed, and there isn’t much nature in it. Doesn't leave much time to catch a firefly, does it?
Studies show that outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances creativity and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. Bottom line--healthier, happier kids. Just look at some of the benefits of overcoming "nature deficit disorder."
Brain: Measurably better grades in school.
The healthy bodies and minds that come with outdoor play increase cognitive focus in school.
Eyes: Improved eyesight.
Recent studies find that kids who get outdoor time have less nearsightedness and need for eye glasses.
Lungs: A longer lifespan and healthier adult life. Doctors estimate that sedentary and obese children lose three to five years from their life expectancy.
Legs/Arms: Stronger bones and lower cancer risk. Today’s “indoor kids” don’t get enough sun and are becoming Vitamin D deficient, causing health risks.
Tummy: Trimmer and healthier kids. An hour of play a day is what doctors say is a basic tool in the effort to ward off childhood obesity and diabetes.
Smile: Better at making friends. Children playing together outdoors relate directly with one another, create games together, choose sides and improve their “people” skills by learning the tools needed for compromise and negotiation.
Come see us at Bear Spirit Lodge B&B, and spend some time in the beautiful Mission Mountains and the forests exploring the natural scene.