The Power of the Wilderness
The wilderness can be very empowering for children and adults with disabilities and without disabilities. Author, Richard Louv, wrote the book Last Child in the Woods; Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. Louv has coined the non-medical, non-psychological term “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Louv writes about how his children feel they don’t get to interact with nature as much as he did when he was growing up. The following passage from his (2008) book describes how and why it is important for the younger generation to explore and experience the wilderness:
“For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot-whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world separate from parents. Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it. Nature offers healing for a child living in a destructive family or neighborhood. It serves as a blank slate upon which a child draws and reinterprets the culture’s fantasies. Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses. Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion. Nature can frighten a child, too, and this fright serves a purpose. In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.” (Louv, p. 7)
For a person to experience the wilderness and feel the power of the calmness that encompasses a person, it must be experienced firsthand to understand the true value it holds. This is what Footprints wants to provide to the participants. Footprints Adventures Colorado Rock ‘N Splash trip is for 16-19 year olds and is scheduled for August 6-12, 2011.