Nature deficit disorder… It’s the new mantra that you hear all the time. How to attract children to our park? Well, if they’re children, they have to be taken to parks and forests by their adults.
We’re visiting our son, daughter and granddaughters in Ohio for the weekend. Today we all went to Hocking Hills State Park, a well-loved park in Ohio with trails, camping and even a pool. OK, so it’s too early to use the pool.
Unfortunately, it was also too early to do any serious hiking because the trails were too icy. We slipped and slid for a while but decided to go cross-country and stay on dirt instead of ice. So did a lot of other visitors who held on to each other and looked very precarious.
Lots of adults, children and dogs around the visitor center and trailheads. Not too many on the trails. We’ll have to go back when it thaws out.
The point is that children, by definition, go where the parents and other adults go. If their adults are enthusiastic about the outdoors, so will children. If the adults are fearful, bored or play with their cell phones, children will be disinterested. It’s not the kids’ faults.