No Child Left Inside
Over a lifetime of teaching, I have been blessed to have personally taken several thousand children on Nature hikes over the years, mostly on various trails around Bristol. Indeed, our twin city has two gorgeous city parks packed with hiking/biking trails: Steele Creek and Sugar Hollow.
As I write this column, I am making plans to take a few hundred more local children hiking over the course of this coming summer.
Boys and Girls Club kids. Girls Inc kids. Scouts. Public school kids. Private school kids. Home school kids.
Below is a pic of one such hike from a few summers ago.
We will hike mostly on trails at Sugar Hollow - trails which were co-created by countless students I taught, who helped me clear and mark them back at the time they were students of mine. (In fact, if you’d personally like to help support my humble summer cause you may donate to: Planting Children, P. O. Box 861, Bristol VA 24203. Thank you, friend.)
Not only do all children “crave” sensory experiences with Nature, they truly “need” such experiences in order to maintain their full physical, spiritual, and mental health. These past two years of battling viruses, with tens of millions of children being relegated to largely “computer only” learning, has certainly evermore emphasized the utmost importance of this long known fact.
So why do so many parents nowadays not allow their children to enjoy such a simple, inexpensive and priceless feast of the senses as a walk in the woods?