Nature Camp for Greening Young Minds

   TwitCount

Introduction and Rationale

Nature possesses restorative benefits. After the April 2015 earthquake, perhaps nature can provide a healing touch. Much can be learned from spending time in nature. All can benefit from nature-based experiences, but nature is especially powerful when it comes to the development of reasoning and self-confidence in children.  

There is a commonality amongst all countries with regard to environmental issues. Global warming as a result of green house gases (GHG) dominates international discussions and negotiations. The impact of GHGs are most severe for the developing and underdeveloped nations. 

Sustainable management of forests contributes to GHG mitigation and can help communities adapt — a benefit to be shared by all. Nepal has been on the forefront of community based forest management. 

Connecting youth with nature is key to equipping tomorrow’s leaders for tomorrow's challenges. We must adequately prepare children for the future they will inherit. Providing children with an environmental education develops the leaders with an environmental stewardship mindset. In an era where many children are disconnected from nature, the importance of environmental education and outdoor learning must be recognised. Nature conservation camp embodies a holistic approach to connecting youngsters with their surrounding through an interactive and respectful model. 

Nepal has over 20,000 upper primary and middle schools. The need to strengthen nature-based experience of children and teachers should be emphasised. Nature camp is a long-term strategy to provide nature-based experiences to all school going children at least once during their schooling. Organisations like Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) are leading social mobilisation and community development implementing various programmes and initiatives to raise quality of life through the wise use of available local resources and application of alternate and renewable technologies. 

The Generation Green (TGG) Campaign recognises and encourages nationwide youth participation in environmental conservation areas. School nature clubs, mentorship programs, environmental scholarships, participation in ‘green’ contests and awards, and engagement in green jobs all provide opportunities for youth to experience nature.

Objectives:   

Nature camp experiences will help children to: 

  • express their innate creativity and relate with elements of nature & biodiversity. 
  • value their contribution and will provide personal fulfilment.  
  • discover nature-based outdoor skills and human-nature connectedness. 
  • strengthen social skills, explore their independence and improve their self-esteem through teamwork and cooperation. 
  • relate to causes of global warming and understand the role of sustainable forest management in Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).