In the woods, we are more human, and we become more connected to our roots. We are alive! It happens as we learn to again live a simple existence. Whether it involves staring at the night sky or at the coals of a fire; listening to the call of a loon or the croak of a frog; the time we spend in camp is both restorative and relaxing.
Camp is a unique setting with a remarkable capacity to make men out of boys, and boys out of men, regardless of gender. It is a place where risks can be taken, fears can be shaken and our spirit is constantly refreshed and awakened. I know this from experience.
However it has also been confirmed by a national survey, which indicates outdoor recreation, leads to a higher quality of life for both children and adults.
According to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Related Recreation conducted by the US Census Bureau: “Outdoor recreation leads to improved physical and mental health, and children from recreationally active families become adults who are more satisfied with their lives, families, friends, and careers. Outdoor recreation promotes stronger families and shared family values and it provides people with greater appreciation of nature and the environment.
Camping is by far the most popular outdoor activity and it is enjoyed at an equal rate among men and women. And it’s not likely to become just another fad; as the people surveyed who camped in tents last year indicated they plan on camping even more this year, Industry experts believe this trend will continue.
Most Adirondack kids are raised with a solid connection to the environment. In many cases, it was camp traditions that helped to shape their character and to foster a firm understanding of nature’s processes. Such activities remain a vital component of our regional culture and the North Country heritage, and it is important that we pass them on to the next generation!
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.