Boston Briefly, AMC, and Getting Kids Outdoors

Last Thursday, Debbie and I attended the bi-annual Appalachian Mountain Club Board of Advisors meeting. AMC is an organization that we are passionate about and getting kids outdoors is something that we know a bit about. It is no secret that AMC has incorporated the objective of getting kids outdoors into our conservation/recreation/education oriented mission.

This was shared with the advisors: “…today’s youth are increasingly over-weight, over-scheduled, and disconnected from the natural world. On average, kids spend more than 7 hours a day in front of a screen, but only 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play.”

That is startling. I saw the results of this long-term decline in the health of our general population on our trip to Boston. In riding the MBTA train to South Station, we witnessed people who didn’t look to healthy. Additionally, most of the passengers were staring into their PDA’s, oblivious to the other people around them. It is a sad state of affairs when technology hurts health. It should help health.

We did enjoy our trip to Boston even though it was like a monsoon with heavy rain and wind. It felt like old times when I went to school at Boston University and Boston College. It was also great to see our fellow AMC friends.

This kids oriented topic is so important. With all the challenges that we face in this world and particularly in the United States, the health of our next generation is paramount. We have to get kids outdoors and we have to make sure the outdoors remains a healthy place to be. We can’t keep destroying the environment that we depend on. It is great to see that at the AMC, we are thinking long and hard about this.

Kristen Laine is an AMC contributor who publishes a fabulous blog for AMC that is called Great Kids, Great Outdoors. Kristen and her family live purposely and she chronicles their adventures, much like I chronicle the Livingston Family’s. Check it out.

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