Healthy Kids get outdoors

by Captain
in Blog
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There’s a bill that has been introduced in the US Senate that authorizes “the Secretary of the Interior to carry out programs and activities that connect Americans, especially children, youth, and families, with the outdoors.” It’s called the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act of 2011 and was introduced by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, and co-sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin.


Prompting this legislation is a growing concern that American children are increasingly sedentary, spending most of their time indoors, and overweight. A wide range of studies show our kids are addicted to electronic media , watching on average 7.5 hours per day. Obesity and its related health problems are closely related to this. And now, seeing that kids are spending on average less than 10 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play, an alarming trend is appearing. There’s even some worry that an unhealthy American population would be a national security threat given how many overweight people would be disqualified from military service.
The Healthy Kids Outdoors Act would combat these trends by funding state and local organizations in their efforts to get kids outdoors, to encourage active outdoor experiences. Here too, studies show outdoor activity yielding incredible public health, local economic and national conservation benefits. Seeking these benefits , this legislation would provide up to $15 million dollars of matching funds to sponsor programs and infrastructure that effectively connect Americans, especially kids, with outdoor experiences.
Of course, we are cheering this legislation! At an outdoor summer camp like Blue Dolphin, we know and celebrate the wonders of outdoor experience everyday. We spend most of our time (not just 10 minutes!) outside, actively engaged in dozens of activities.
At camp, we know all about the benefits to kids of outdoor activity. It’s nice to see those same benefits being championed nationally.