Take It Outside!
Governor's Conference on Youth and the Natural World set for Oct. 2
If you believe children need more incentive to get outside, you'll find good company and ideas at the Governor's Conference on Youth and the Natural World scheduled for Oct. 2 at the Augusta Civic Center.
Maine Governor John Baldacci, keynote speaker Larry Selzer of the National Forum on Children and Nature and chief executive officer of The Conservation Fund, and parents, educators, governmental representatives, and other leaders in health, child development, and outdoor recreation will attend.
The conference wil explore children’s increasing disconnection from nature and decreasing participation in outdoor activities is fueling an obesity epidemic and threatening children’s physical and mental health and will bring together parents, governmental leaders and leaders in education, health, child development and outdoor recreation to address this issue and work toward restoring a healthy balance of nature in the lives of children in Maine. Recent studies of Maine children give ample reason for promoting increased outdoor activity:
- In a typical week, only 6% of children aged 9 to 13 play outside on their own.
- Nearly 1/3 of children from 6 months to 6 years live in households where TV is on all or most of the time.
- From 1997 to 2003, there was a decline of 50% in the proportion of children 9 to 12 who spent time in such activities as hiking, walking, fishing & beach play.
The conference will also feature a climbing wall and the latest in bicycles for attendees to try, and the premiere of the Maine Outdoor Youth Movie Festival, which was designed for kids to express, through film, why being outside is important to them. Selected films will be shown and filmmakers will be recognized during the conference luncheon. Olympic snowboarding gold medalist and Farmington native Seth Wescott is among the judges.
For more information: www.take-it-outside.com