May 3, 2016 - 12:04am -- foxx.2

A colleague recently shared with me a really great info-graphic prepared by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that illustrates just how much of an impact being outdoors can have on kids and their health.  Here are just a few of the key facts illustrated by the AAP info-graphic:

·       Children living within a ½ mile of a park are more likely to have higher levels of physical activity.

·       Children living within 2/3 mile of a park with a playground can be five times more likely to have a healthy weight.

·       Exposure to nature can reduce stress levels by as much as 28% in children.

·       Even a 20 minute walk in nature can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) concentrate better.

·       Parents, friends and family are the most influential to youth participation in outdoor activities.

·       Children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to be overweight by 27-41%.

·       More than 1 in 3 children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Minority and low-income children are disproportionately affected.

·       Children have lost 25% of playtime and 50% of unstructured outdoor activity over recent decades.

·       Nature Deficit Disorder was coined by author Richard Louv in 2005 to describe how children are spending less time outdoors and its impacts.

This summer Wayne County 4-H will offer three great opportunities for kids to spend some time outdoors at our – Cloverbud Day Camp, Junior Camp and Teen Retreat - open to all youth in Wayne County even if they’re not a current member of 4-H.

Cloverbud Day Camp will run June 14th – 16th and is for youth that are in kindergarten or higher and 5-8 years old as of January 1st of this year.

Junior Camp will be from June 29th – July 3rd and is for youth that are in the 3rd grade or higher and ages 8-13 as of January 1st of this year. Junior Camp is a 4-night, 5-day residential camp at 4-H Camp Ohio in Louisville, Ohio. 

Teen Retreat will be June 8th – 9th and is for youth ages 14-18 as of January 1st of this year. Teen Retreat will be held at Kelleys Island 4-H Camp. 

Camps challenge youth and teens to step out of their ordinary routines and comfort zones and participate in new activities often not available in their own backyards. For more information and/or to register for a camp – please contact me at the Wayne County Extension Office.

Doug Foxx is an OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.