April 20, 2017
According to the National Wildlife Association, when outdoor time is available to children, their physical and mental health are boosted in various ways, including longer attention spans, stronger bodies and even better performance in class. Another benefit of nature is that children learn how to be mindful adults who think about the environment.
This spring and summer, the YMCA of Metro Chicago offers various ways for children to get out and enjoy nature.
Children who spend their summer at a YMCA day camp will engage in plenty of nature-centered activities, from learning about the change in seasons to working in a local green space. Field trips to the Chicago Botanic Garden, Green Earth Institute (Naperville) and other nearby forest preserves allow campers to study and discover local fauna.
At our overnight summer camps, children stay in campgrounds located in Illinois or surrounding states. Campers participate in various activities both on land and by a waterfront, such as hiking, ziplining and kayaking. These adventures allow campers to soak in their surroundings and gain a newfound awareness of what nature has to offer.
YMCA of Metro Chicago centers such as the Leaning Tower YMCA own gardens tended by volunteers and members. Events are hosted for families and children of all ages during planting and harvest season.
Events such as Earth Day (April 22), National Park Week (April 15-23) and our Let’s Move! Outside initiative provide opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors together while creating a respect for nature.
Help the Y ensure that the next generation grows up understanding the importance of taking care of our environment.