Because so many kids today are over-scheduled, over-screened and over-protected - and spending as little as 4-7 minutes outside each day - the Generation Wild campaign is a movement to change this dynamic by inspiring kids (and moms) to get outside more often, letting their imaginations and curiosity run wild.
Created and launched by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) last year, the Generation Wild campaign features "100 Things to Do Before You're 12," a vibrant compilation of activities from simple pleasures like burying a time capsule and making a mudpie, to more challenging adventures like riding a horse or hiking a 14er.
"Studies continue to show that kids feel better and think better after some fresh air and outdoor play. By reminding adults about how kids see the outdoors, and how freeing it can be to run a bit wild, we hope to inspire everyone to get outdoors even more this summer" according to Chris Castilian, executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado.
"Kids grow better outside" is the theme of the Generation Wild campaign, and for good reason:
- Kids are spending as little as 4-7 minutes outside each day in unstructured play.
- Outdoor physical activity isn't just a fun break from our digital devices and structured daily routines - it makes kids healthier and happier, from strengthening their immune systems, to improving cognitive abilities, to lowering stress.
- Colorado boasts one of the nation's healthiest adult populations, but the youth obesity rate is rapidly rising.
A longitudinal study conducted after its first year indicates GOCO is moving the needle on behaviors and attitudes. 55 percent of the moms surveyed reported that the Generation Wild campaign inspired them to take their kids outdoors more often, and 40 percent reported the campaign encouraged them to do things outdoors they may not have done otherwise.
The Generation Wild campaign builds on an innovative, GOCO-funded initiative to connect youth and families with the outdoors across the state of Colorado. Collaborative coalitions are working in 15 communities (previously called Inspire Initiativecommunities and now called Generation Wild communities) to break down barriers to the outdoors and build new places for recreation, create outdoor programs to activate those sites, and create internships and job opportunities in the outdoor field.
To view the list of "100 Things to Do Before You're 12" or for additional information, visit GenerationWild.com.