The National Wildlife Federation has declared today, June 23, as the Great American Backyard Campout. To celebrate the event, which is designed to help reconnect young people with the outdoors, the organization is encouraging friends and families to spend the night sleeping out under the stars.
Thanks to the introduction of the Internet, video games, television and other technological distractions, fewer and fewer kids are actually going outside to play these days. The NWF says that only about 25 percent of American children now spend any significant time outdoors on a daily basis. Just two decades ago that number was actually 75 percent. The organization feels that by getting children to go outside we not only improve their health, but also help them build a solid respect for nature and wildlife.
This event also serves as a fundraiser for the NWF, which encourages campers to register their campout and ask friends and family to sponsor their backyard adventure. By doing so, they can earn official GABC T-shirts and be eligible to win a trip to New York or Los Angeles to be on a National Wildlife Federation television show. The organization promises that 80 cents out of every dollar earned goes directly to support their cause, which is to protect and preserve America’s diverse wildlife populations.
Tonight, thousands of people across the U.S. will take part in the Great American Backyard Campout. They’ll huddle around a campfire and tell tall tales while singing camping songs and making delicious s’mores. And when they’re ready to call it an evening, they’ll slip inside their tents, crawl in a comfy sleeping bag and drift off to sleep with the sounds of nature all about them. Perhaps in doing so, they will also begin to instill a bit of love for the outdoors in themselves and their children too.
Find out more about the Great American Backyard Campout by clicking here.