Outdoors for All
From when I was little I was always outside. I have always loved being outdoors. I love all things outdoors, from hiking and camping to whitewater kayaking and rock climbing. A few years ago it hit me that not everyone is exposed to our natural world and unaware of what it offers the soul. I was lucky enough to get a job where I was teaching outdoor skills to the youth in New Orleans. Some of these children only knew their neighborhoods and were not able to venture out and explore. Some of them may have gone fishing with their families or played at the park but most of the students I worked with, it was their first time exploring their natural world. It did not take long for me to notice that these students were super excited to be outside the classroom. Sometimes it was tough to gather them up for games or a canoe lesson. After we taught them the lesson for the day, we then got to use the lesson. Some days it was canoeing, others it was swimming. We tried to teach all things outdoors. We not only taught technical skills though. A big part of the program was teaching them better communication with each other and team work skills through games and initiative challenges. When combined, these skills offer the students the ability to absorb all the outdoors have to offer.
The natural world has so much to offer each one of us. Sometimes it is a peaceful reprieve from everyday life; other times it is going to teach us ways we can better ourselves. I’ve met a lot of people who use the outdoors as a way to expand themselves on a personal level. When I get a chance to go somewhere new, I always try to explore the natural world in that area and it has led me to some cool places.
There are studies and research being done on today’s youth and the lack of time they get outdoors. I feel that each child has a right to be outside any way possible. It could be exploring a green space near their house or going on a backpacking trip a few hours out of town. Every part of this nation has its own beautiful places. Down here in South Louisiana we have the swamps and marshes with the bayous that run through them and I want to share what I can with who I can. If you know someone who has an “outdoor deficiency” you should invite them out with you on your next adventure!
See you out there!