Our children are less connected to the natural world than at any other time in history. The implications of this, particularly for their physical, mental and social health, are immense. Most everyone’s outdoor experiences have changed dramatically over the past 50 years as we have all moved indoors and screen spaces have replaced green places. Access to and use of computers, the Internet and hand held devices, increased parental fear and more highly structured play and supervision, keeps children from playing outdoors.
The simple act of playing in nature results in healthier and happier children. Today’s children will determine the future preservation of the natural areas we treasure. Clearly we need to look at what we are doing to and with our children and families in terms of their ability and willingness to connect with and appreciate the benefits of nature and to foster links for positive choices and conscious results.
In British Columbia, we need to determine how to better facilitate opportunities for children and families to enjoy nature, cultivate a sense of efficacy and care for community while nourishing common sense and reconnection outdoors - guided by three critical beliefs:
We need to create opportunities for children and families to get outside and play! We need to create an ‘ecology of intention’ at both the grassroots level as well as all levels of government.
This three and a half day forum sponsored by University of Victoria, The Kesho Trust, The Children and Nature Network, and Royal Roads University will offer an opportunity for academics, practitioners, researchers and youth to learn, share and contribute to developing a strategy and action plan for British Columbia and its people. If you are concerned with how we can best engage with nature and move toward action, then join us on the bucolic grounds of Royal Roads University nestled in 600 acres of ancient Vancouver Island forests by the sea for this erudite dive into learning! Register early – capacity limited.
Warning: there will be unstructured play!
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUTH: Bursaries are available to youth aged 15-29. They cover travel, food, accomodation and registration expenses.
For more information on this bursary, click here.
For the bursary application form, click here.
Distinguished keynote and plenary speakers:
Length: 3.5 days
Date: Thursday through Sunday, March 5-8, 2009
Times and locations: Various – see website for detailed agenda
Cost: $350 + GST
Course Code: GLDF1485
Please Register By: Thursday, February 19, 2009
Registration is available: