Richard Louv, the well-know and much-discussed author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, wrote a follow-up book, The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age, a few years after his first.
In this second book, Louv extends the conversation to adults and asks the question, “What could our lives and our children’s lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in technology?” Camp Fire doesn’t have all the answers to his provocative question; however, we do repeatedly hear the effect camping experiences have had on young lives that grew to adulthood with a deep respect and appreciation for the gifts nature has a unique ability to bestow.
A Camp Fire alum, Charles Lasco, Camp Fire Central Puget Sound, recently wrote, “When I was young, my dad’s airline job moved us around a lot. I started to dread having to saying goodbye to yet another group of friends I’d made. Everything changed at Camp Sealth. It was the first place that gave me a true sense of community and confidence.”
Through his camp experience, the young camper learned how to push himself when things got tough. He learned to lead with patience and persistence and to listen with compassion and empathy. As a manager at Microsoft, and as a parent, those skills remain central to his leadership and parenting today. Would technology have shaped the character a campfire helped create? It’s doubtful.
For over 100 years, Camp Fire’s Camp and Environmental programs have immersed youth and families in nature, where they are learning, exploring, and growing together while developing a lifelong respect for the outdoors. We have always believed—and will continue to champion—the power of nature to awaken the senses and the desire to learn.
If you have a child or know of a child who could benefit from a camp experience, click on the following to locate a nearby camp in our camp directory.