The Nature Conservancy has released results from a new survey about teens and nature. It’s great to have some current information (the survey was conducted this summer), and to see some new statistics besides the generic “kids these days and their videogames.” For example:
- Peer pressure for good: 91 percent of youth (ages 13-18) surveyed said that if a friend encouraged them to spend more time outdoors they would listen.
- It’s not too late: 76 percent of youth today strongly believe issues like climate change can be solved if action is taken now.
- Yes, but how?: 62 percent said their main reason for not spending more time outdoors is that they don’t have transportation to natural areas.
- And, what I found most interesting: 90 percent of kids who spent time outside said being in nature and taking part in outdoor activities helped relieve stress. ‘Kids these days‘ deal with jam-packed schedules, high academic expectations, and a million social obligations. We’re lucky to work at a camp where we get kids outside, let them be kids, raise their heart rates but lower their blood pressure. Clearly, we need to continue to find ways to empower our visitors (Let’s be honest: Adults could use the de-stressing too!) to take their experiences home with them.
Not surprising information? 80 percent of kids surveyed said it was uncomfortable to be outdoors due to things like bugs and heat. Any camp counselor could have told you they would say that.
The full report’s well worth a read: http://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/kids-in-nature/kids-in-nature-poll.xml