Let’s face it. If our kids don’t get outside, our planet is screwed. No saving bats or bees, no state parks, no conservation, no clean water, no “Pocket Ranger Apps“, no “Hunt, Fish, Camp”. No bike shop. No local outfitters. No REI. Nothing. Conserving nature will become something akin to sending $5 to help starving kids on the other side of the earth. We’ll all know we should do something, but most of are too disconnected to follow through. As a recent Wisconsin State Journal article pointed out, it seems our politicians are suffering “Nature Deficit Disorder” already.
This is why I’m a big fan of Devil’s Lake State Park’s annual Mud Hike. It’s a first step toward recovery. It’s a fun, laughable, tactile & visceral connection to nature that kids since the dawn of time instantly understand.. that’s IF their parents don’t get in the way. And here’s the thing; Mud and kids mix. Playing in the mud can make children healthier. Research has shown that playing in the dirt including mud is good for a child’s immune system. Mary Ruebush, PhD and author of Why Dirt is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friends said, “If your child isn’t coming in dirty every day, they’re not doing their job. They’re not building their immunological army. Beyond this, playing in mud offers so much more. I invite you to read these news articles;
- Why Your Kids Need To Play in Mud
- 10 Reasons Why We Should Let Kids Play in Mud
- Children should be allowed to play in the dirt, new research suggests
- ‘Nature-deficit disorder’ is real, not going away
- It’s a dirty little secret: Playing in mud isn’t so bad for kids
So with that in mind, “Hurray for the Mud Hike!!” A great time was had by all! We hope to see you next year!
Here are the pictures! (Click any image to enlarge)