Outdoorsmen are a dying breed

Published 7:09 pm Thursday, June 26, 2014



In today’s society, children tend to stay indoors. The time where kids ventured out into the unknown of the woods behind their houses and other places with the potential for exploration has pretty much vanished.

With the technological advancements over the decades, including gaming consoles, television, the Internet, computers and air conditioning, there isn’t much incentive for kids to leave the comforts of home. Even in school, there is not much time allotted for students to go outside and play.

Another factor in this equation is the fact that today’s generations don’t have the same freedoms as that of older generations. Back in the day, so I am told, things were much different. There weren’t so many laws and rules and regulations and penalties. Today, it is so easy for someone to sue another that property owners are leery of having children venture onto their property. If someone was to get hurt on that property, it could jeopardize the property owner and his or her property.

The point is kids are running out of woods and other land to roam and adventure and learn about the environment. This also facilitates a lack of imagination in children. Playing and adventuring outside gets a child’s imagination going and compels them to explore the possibilities — the what if?

It is important for children to be in touch with nature and the environment. Some programs going on in Beaufort County attempt to get kids back outside and learning about the environment.

This week, the EGRET Fellows Program at Goose Creek State Park, sponsored by the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment took area teachers through a course of study geared toward getting their students outside. It also focused on giving teachers knowledge and instruction on how to get their students involved in environmental projects such as schoolyard gardens, earthworm farms and rain gauging, in an active way.

Other projects such as Pamlico-Tar River Foundation’s Youth Kayaking Program gives kids a way to get in-touch with the local river basin when otherwise they may not have had that opportunity.

If the younger generations aren’t introduced to nature and the environment then they will not be advocates for the environment later in life. This means that as the older generations pass, the environment will not be cared for as it once was. It is extremely important for kids to be not only acquainted with the Mother Nature, but to know her and care for her.

With the help of programs like these, parents can help change the norm by taking their kids outside, sharing memories with their kids about their times outside as children and doing outdoor projects together, taking walks in the woods and enjoying the great outdoors.