The Y has a long, proud history in camping activities and YMCA Camp Eberhart has been committed to nurturing youth development for more than 100 years. Not only do we provide a lifetime's worth of skills and experiences, but YMCA Camp Eberhart also strengthens the foundations of our communities through summer camp, specialty camps year-round, retreats, and other camping programs and activities for people of all ages, incomes and abilities.
At YMCA Camp Eberhart, we are a haven for learning and achievement for all children with the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility at the heart of everything we do.
HEALTHY, WEALTHY AND WISE
“For many years, I have been concerned with the increase in sedentary and nature deficient lifestyles among Americans, especially among our youth,” writes Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) in a recent blog post. “Kids today spend less time outdoors than any other generation in history. As a result, more kids are overweight and obese and suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression than ever before.”Rep. Kind and Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) recently introduced the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act, to support state, local and federal strategies to improve children’s health, support future economic growth and conservation efforts, and ensure access and opportunities for more people to engage in the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle. The bill has the support of a broad coalition of groups with an interest in getting nature back into American childhood.
Rep. Kind lists three benefits to connecting youth and families with the natural world.1. Health Benefits
- Today, kids spend an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of electronic devices and as few as four minutes each day outside, missing out on the bounty and beauty of nature.
- The obesity rate in children has tripled since 1980.
- In Indiana & Michigan, it is estimated that one-in-five children are overweight and 2/3 of all adults are overweight or obese.
- The good news is that most childhood obesity is completely preventable when kids play actively, such as swimming, hiking and trail-biking at YMCA Camp Eberhart.
- Kids who spend time outside are not only more physically active, but better behaved and more intellectually engaged.
2. Economic Benefits
- Estimated at $14 billion annual, childhood obesity health expenses are taking a toll on the US health care system.
- Outdoor recreation is one of the mainstays of Michigan culture and contributes more than $1 billion annually to the state’s economy.
3. Conservation Benefits
- A 2006 study from Cornell researchers found that participating in outdoor activities as a kid (such as camping) positively impacts a person’s attitudes toward nature and environmentally conscious behavior as an adult.
- The study further found that participating in “wild nature activities” before the age of 11 leads environmental stewardship as an adult.
At the Y, we share their concern.
That is why we have made a pledge to the communities we serve that we will be a part of the solution to childhood obesity.
Future generations of potential conservationists are our YMCA CAMP EBERHART campers today. And there are hundreds more kids waiting for opportunities and access to get active outdoors.
We partner with local schools, churches, businesses and community organizations to get people outside. It helps kids stay active, stimulates the economy, and ensures the future of our natural resources.
When we work together, we can move our community forward.