Why Do We Need Outing Clubs?



Through the promotion of Outing Clubs, Teens To Trails is raising awareness that “unstructured” time spent in the out-of-doors is not just leisure time -- it’s an essential investment in our children’s health.

Today’s teens are over stressed & over committed, impacting both their mental and physical health. Teen suicides are increasing. Millions suffer from mental disorders. There is an epidemic of childhood obesity with signs of heart and circulation problems even before reaching their teenage years. Our youth are choosing screen time over outdoor time and a growing body of research connects the lack of nature in their lives to these disturbing health trends. On the positive side, the idea that natural landscapes can be therapeutic is an ancient one. In tests, people respond strongly and positively to open, grassy landscapes, scattered stands of trees, meadows, water, winding trails, and elevated views. Contact with nature nurtures creativity and wonder, which is as important to young people as good nutrition and adequate sleep.

What does the research say? The Children & Nature Network has become a repository for relevant research. You can read more about nature-deficit disorder -- a descriptive phrase coined by Richard Louv in his book "Last Child in the Woods" to sound a warning about the growing disconnect between our children and nature. Find the more recent studies that focus more on the benefits of outdoor experiences and exposure to natural settings.