Raising Earth Loving (and Preserving) Children
Everyone wants a better future for their kids! There are an abundance of resources for families to help engage their kids in the fight for a happier, healthier planet. Good news - our work at Cody can support what is already happening at home or provide kids with their first look at appreciating and preserving our planet. Here’s how:
Model being eco friendly.
The Cody instructors have created and model eco friendly practices throughout camp. That could be a simple act like shutting off the lights when they leave to leading students in an exploration on the benefits and challenges of renewable energy. Our instructors have a passion for the outdoors and are committed to helping the next generation appreciate and protect it.
Get kids involved as soon as possible.
At a young age, kids can already do so much to protect our planet. In the cabins, students are encouraged to turn off lights and shut the doors when they leave and take very short showers. At meal times, our motto is “take what you can eat” and we teach students how to conserve resources used to make and ship food. We practice Leave No Trace protocols and encourage students to leave the camp better than when they found it so everyone can continue to enjoy its natural beauty.
Teach respect for the outdoors.
We have eco friendly staff and eco friendly practices in place. But most importantly, we don’t simply tell students facts. Our hands-on lessons allow them to discover for themselves if our lake is healthy or our camp has diverse flora and fauna. When students have a better understanding of how the natural world works, as well as a connection to it, they are more likely to factor environmental impacts into their daily decision making.
Build an eco friendly community.
Everything we do at Cody works toward building community, from team building, to communal cabin living, to clean up tasks in the dining hall. It is essential that students not only understand their role in the human community, but in the non-human community as well. Our lessons allow students to explore the connections among the natural and designed world. With this knowledge, students can head back to their local communities as informed citizens and environmental stewards.
When students return home for their field trip to Cody Outdoor Classroom...
They will be excited about the environment and families should jump all over that!
Talk to them about their experience. What was their favorite lesson and what did it teach them about the environment? What animals and plants did they see? What did they discover on their hike? What did they do at Cody to help the earth?
Connect what they learned to their home lives. At Cody, the students shut off the lights any time they left a room. Does that happen at home? If not, how can it become part of your family’s daily routine? Students learn about the 3R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). Your student might suggest that everyone in the family gets a reusable water bottle. Make it fun; take everyone to the store to pick out their favorite color bottle. Whatever practices interest them most, make them part of your family’s routine!
Live life unplugged. The students have just survived up to a week with no electronics and found all the fun and entertainment they need in the outdoors. Remind them of this when they want to play video games or be on their phones. Instead, take the family outside to go for a walk or kick around a soccer ball.
Attend community events that benefit the planet. While your student’s interests are peaked, connect them with others in the community with similar interests. They might want to join a club or participate in a community clean-up event.
Gavin, L. (2015). Raising Earth-Friendly Kids. Retrieved from kidshealth.org.
Tiffany. (20105). Raising Eco-Friendly Kids. Retrieved from www.naturemoms.com