We don’t need to tell you that spending time outdoors is beneficial for kids, but do you know why?
At Camp Cody, outdoor adventure education is the foundation of everything we do. Read on to learn more about what outdoor education is and why New England summer camps are the perfect place for kids to experience the benefits of learning in nature.
What is Outdoor Education?
Outdoor education is nearly as straightforward as it sounds. However, the term has evolved over the years and will likely continue to change with the times. The Institute for Outdoor Learning says it best, explaining that “Outdoor learning is an umbrella term for actively inclusive facilitated approaches that predominantly use activities and experiences in the outdoors which lead to learning, increased health and wellbeing, and environmental awareness.”
Outdoor education is a planned and purposeful approach to learning about nature. Along the way, kids also learn valuable skills and lessons about conservation, responsibility, and confidence that will stick with them for a lifetime.
5 Benefits of Outdoor Education Summer Camps
Outdoor education programs are beneficial for everyone, but especially for children. These are just a handful of the reasons why:
1. It Builds Confidence
Playing in nature is a lot less structured than typical activities and games children play. Kids have the opportunity to choose how they interact and play in nature, which helps them build confidence in their own actions and abilities all while having fun.
2. It’s Good For Physical and Mental Health
Being outside gets kids moving and can have a positive impact on their mental health. In today’s world where screens are everywhere, going outside provides a great break from technology along with different forms of stimulation that are better for the mind and body.
3. It Promotes Creativity
There are an infinite number of ways to interact with nature, and there’s no right or wrong way for how to play in it. This unstructured kind of play empowers kids to think more freely and approach their environment in inventive ways which promotes creativity.
4. It Teaches Responsibility and Independence
Nature is resilient yet also incredibly fragile. When playing in nature, kids learn how to take care and respect living things, effectively also teaching them about the value of responsibility and independence as they design their own activities while being careful not to disturb the balance found in nature.
5. It Reduces Stress
Time and time again, it has been proven that being in nature can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. That’s because our daily environments (especially school) require directed attention for long spans of time that can be exhausting. In nature, kids can experience soft fascination in an unstructured environment that creates feelings of curiosity and pleasure.
Interested in learning more about how Camp Cody promotes an outdoor education model? See our full list of outdoor and other activities to see how we incorporate nature learning into summer camp.