There’s something uplifting about seeing your child with some dirt on their face or sand between their toes, their sense of adventure heightened by some exploration in the great outdoors. It’s that sight that has inspired three mums to make it their mission to encourage families to raise their kids to be connected with “wilderness and wildness”.
Brooke Froelich, Morgan Brechler and Shannon Robertson have raised more than $47,000 to produce Wild Child, the first episode for the Born Wild film series and to build a website full of tips, tricks and inspiration. With a growing collection of footage, the trio are ready to go into production with a premiere due in June, buoyed by thousands of donors who supported the concept via a crowdfunding campaign.
The Colorado mums – parents of Huck, Hadlie and Skye – want to empower parents to raise kids who are connected to the wilderness by sharing stories, essential issues and actionable solutions.
The women say American kids, who once grew up climbing trees and scraping knees, now spend an average of five minutes a day in unstructured play outside, but seven hours in front of a screen.
“Our childhood obesity rates have more than doubled the last 20 years, and we’ve become the largest consumer of ADHD medications in the world,” they say. “Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity –and that interaction with nature can reduce these symptoms.”
The women say as society’s relationship with nature declines, so does the health of our children.
“This documentary film series will address the most important issues surrounding the lack of nature in the lives of today’s youth by highlighting actionable solutions and inspiring stories from those aiming to buck this trend,” say the women. “In creating our series, we’ll incorporate the voices of scientists and childhood developments experts about the benefits that connecting with nature can have on kids, their families, and our environment.”
The women say people have forgotten human beings are born wild and want to instil a sense of adventure in their children – the bonus that the time outside positively impacts their health and wellbeing: “As our wild places shrink in size as urban landscapes grow, it seems we’re forgetting that we’re wild – we’re supposed to be swinging from the branches, running through the woods, surviving in the sunlight.”
(images via Born Wild)