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Electronics vs Nature

2011 November 3

By Lina Younes

Recently, I went camping with my youngest daughter’s Girl Scouts troop. We went to a camping ground in Maryland. Contrary to nearby Camp Schmidt that has cabins with bunk beds, our camping site was in a wooded area where we had to pitch our own tents.

My daughter was very excited to go on her very first camping trip.  The excitement started during the packing process.  What did we need to take for the trip? These were some of the important issues we needed to address as we got ready. Since we knew that we would be out in tents, a sleeping bag was the first order of business. She was well aware that she needed a flashlight, basic toiletries, etc. Then, she wanted to pack all these portable electronic gadgets and that is where I drew the line. “What if I can’t fall asleep at night? What am I going to do?” It was interesting to see that she hadn’t even thought of the notion of just taking in all the sights and sounds of the night without any electronic gadgets. Are our children so disconnected from nature that they cannot even think of enjoying natural surroundings without a hand-held device?

We were very fortunate to have great weather.  A little brisk in the evening, but it was nice. The camping trip was a great success. The girls had a lot of fun exploring the area, sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and the like. Some of the girls were slightly apprehensive of the thought that we might encounter some scary wildlife in the woods at night.  They were expecting to see some bears or wolves.  The scariest creatures we saw were a few birds, frogs, and plenty of daddy long legs.

When we woke up early morning, some of the girls were surprised to discover the moisture out of the tent. “Why is the ground wet if it didn’t rain?” “Morning dew, honey.”  That was a great opportunity to teach the children about the natural environment. Now, I’m not sure who is more excited about the next camping trip–my daughter or me.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as the Multilingual Communications Liaison. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

8 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    November 3, 2011

    Both of You : Are Sure….!!!

    As always, enjoy read your post. Your experience with the daughter remembered me what I’ve done with my boy scouts decades ago. Surprised, shocked, amazed and last but not least : “Hopeful”…!.

  2. alexander permalink
    November 7, 2011

    The wild nature, it looks so pretty and surprisingly for the young and for the old too. Especially when it is without the electronic gadgets.

  3. Tom permalink
    February 15, 2012

    Glad to hear that today’s youth still goes out into the wild. Don’t get me wrong, technology is good but sometimes one forgets the simple things in life such as a camping out under the stars.

    Tom
    http://www.tech-bargain.com

  4. Cathy Sorensen permalink
    February 19, 2012

    You are so right. Now days when people go camping they go all out in the RV with all the modern conveniences. Of course most RV’s have a TV, which in turn leads to the kids wanting to bring the games consoles and the whole electronic arena. Instead of spending time outside they are in the RV the whole time.

    Instead what I like to do is bring card games (like uno) or board games (like checkers, chess) that have been around for years. The kids now have grown up in the technology age, so when you take them camping it is a great time to get them back to the basics.

    Camping Comfortably
    http://www.campingcomfortably.com

  5. Cindy permalink
    March 6, 2012

    I loved reading this post as it so relates to what my family and I like to do. Sometimes the best way to get kids off of all the gadgets today is to say that we’re going camping!

    Cindy

  6. May 25, 2012

    The whole idea of going to camping is to detach ourselves from society and gadgets. The more we are able to do that, the more peaceful we can be :)

  7. August 13, 2012

    Thank you lina for such sharing such a wonderful experience. I am following your experiences since 2005

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