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101 Nature Activities
After 62 years in operation, we believe, and know, that children who spend time in the outdoors are healthier, happier, and more functional in both their home and school environments. Each and every summer, we have been committed to Roger "Sandy" and Laura Sanborn's vision of children coming together in the outdoors for a summer of friendship, adventure and fun. We also know that our campers leave every summer with a rich appreciation for and a new understanding of the natural world. As the cultural and technological climate has changed over time, we recognize that our mission is more relevant and important today than in any other time of our history.
Sanborn Western Camps along with organizations such as the American Camp Association, the Children & Nature Network, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, Hooked on Nature, the National Wildlife Federation's Green Hour, The No Child Left Inside Coalition, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the National Institute for Play, and the nascent Nature Rocks! campaign are committed to fostering a cultural shift which will reconnect our children with the deep sense of self, sense of community, sense of the earth and sense of wonder that comes from time, play, and learning in the out of doors.
There are many individuals who also believe that the time has come to turn off the computers, televisions, video games, and virtual reality and connect with the earth and each other in real and meaningful ways. Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder), Bethe Almeras (The Grass Stain Guru), Lenore Skenazy (FreeRangeKids), Caro Webster (Small Fry), Fitz Cahall and Steve Bohrer (The Outdoor Parent), and many others are engaging their readers and listeners in a dialogue about the "nature" of raising healthy, happy, productive kids. By participating in this discussion, we as individuals and organizations have begun to create an awareness, and a community where parents, teachers, camps and other like minded individuals can gather information, share stories, and swap ideas to help nurture awareness, appreciation, stewardship, and connection with the natural world.
As part of our ongoing contribution to this movement, and because we want anyone and everyone to be able to experience the wonder of the outdoors, we have compiled 101 Nature Activities. This downloadable pdf offers a range of activities and lessons that we have created and collected from our staff, teachers, and outdoor educators. We have used them over the years with our campers and with our own children to deepen their awareness and enjoyment of the natural world. We hope you will enjoy them, too.
Get outside today!