Summer has fully bloomed, and here at Outward Bound, we celebrate by soakin’ up the sunshine in the longer hours and offering some great outdoor expeditions! Activities like getting outdoors and hiking mountains or scaling rock cliffs have more benefits than just fun, they fight serious problems facing America’s children like childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is no recent phenomenon in America. Government statistics show it has tripled in the last three decades, leading to a whopping rate of 17 percent of American children who are obese – an astounding result of kids eating unhealthy foods and not getting enough exercise.
The problem is alarming when compared to earlier generations who ate less processed food and spent more afternoons outside with bats and balls, instead of playing video games or surfing Facebook. Restoring an appreciation of the great outdoors and healthy lifestyles is important for our children’s future so future generations will grow up to be healthy and well-rounded people.
Recently, President Obama declared June the Great Outdoors Month – an initiative to encourage kids to reacquaint themselves with the great outdoors and to preserve public lands. The First Lady has been doing her part also to crack down on the childhood obesity problem. Recently she launched the Let’s Move! Outside initiative, which strives to eliminate childhood obesity through outdoor activities and healthier lifestyles. Strongly supporting Let’s Move! Outside and the First Lady’s efforts is OAK (Outdoors Alliance for Kids), a group of organizations united under the belief that it is important to get kids back outside in nature.
OAK aims to increase opportunities for families and children to spend time outdoors. Previously, they have united organizations such as: NWF, YMCA of the USA, REI, Sierra Club, Izaak Walton League of America, The Outdoor Foundation, National Recreation and Park Association and the Children & Nature Network. And, we are proud to announce that Outward Bound is joining the OAK team. We can’t really imagine a world without kids playing in dirt, rafting rivers and backpacking mountains.
Let the hikes begin!