(This post was written by Resident Staff Member, Nicole Miller.)
Recently the staff at Camp Stevens devoted some time to sitting down and talking about some of our favorite things: Children and nature (Go figure!). Particularly, we discussed a desire to see all children play, explore and grow in nature. Inspired by the California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights and a degree of nostalgia for our own childhood explorations, we hereby declare (in no particular order):
20 Things Every Child Should Have the Right to Experience in Nature!
20. Be uncomfortable;
19. Find something fascinating and awe-inspiring;
18. Explore and problem-solve;
17. Learn and have moments of discovery;
16. Not know an answer (and be ok with that);
15. Face fears;
14. Gain comfort with being outside;
13. Have a personal relationship with nature;
12. Take an activity that they do frequently indoors into the outdoors;
11. Have their own special place in nature;
10. Encounter wildlife;
9. Experience connections to food sources;
8. Get lost; survive and be empowered;
6. Cook and share a meal outdoors;
5. Nighttime experiences (star gazing, exploring in the dark, listening to sounds of the night);
4. Nature mishaps, like accidentally falling into water;
3. Be alone in natural spaces; find independence and solitude in the world;
2. Build something;
1. Get dirty!
* It should be noted that this list can also apply to adults who are still children at heart, as it still very much does for our staff.