Kids need to ditch their digital devices and head outside more, breathe fresh air, enjoy nature. They need to run around to have healthy bodies. No brainer, right? But get this: kids’ (and adults’) brains are healthier when we hit the great outdoors.
Mother Nature Chases the Blues Away
The typical child spends about 8 hours a day watching TV, playing video games, or using computers or other devices for recreation. We worry about our kids coping with social media pressure, violent games, and possible online bullying. This profound change in American life has triggered lots of concern — and scientific research. According to a 2015 study from the National Academy of Sciences, a 90-minute walk through a natural environment had a profound positive effect on participants. Brain scans showed decreased blood flow to a part of the prefrontal cortex associated with bad feelings. Hiking shuts down the brain region that produces worry, sadness and anxiety. What an extraordinary benefit to taking a walk in the woods!
Unplug and Kick-Start Creativity
Psychologists found in a well-publicized 2012 study that participants, after a 4-day hike in the wild with no access to technology, scored an impressive 50% higher on a test known as RAT, or Remote Associates Test. It’s a simple way to measure creative potential in test subjects. Researchers determined that our ability to think creatively is being overwhelmed by the continual stimulus of digital, indoor living.
Outdoor Fitness for Better Focus
A 2004 study came to the hardly-surprising conclusion that regular outdoor activities can help reduce attention deficit symptoms. Nature really can clear your head and refocus your thoughts.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
According to a 2010 report in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, getting out into nature for a mere 5 minutes is enough to make a person feel better about himself. Spending the whole day outdoors gives a tremendous boost to self-esteem. Being near water seemed to have the most beneficial effect… Which brings us to Birch Rock Camp, on the shores of pristine Lake McWain in Waterford, Maine.
Birch Rock Camp for Boys
One sure-fire way to get a boy excited about the great outdoors is to sign him up for Birch Rock, where cell phones are banished and Nature is King! Our rustic camp in the Maine woods is the perfect place for boys to embark on a life of bold adventure, and even brainpower!