Milford, Mich. –Across the nation, large wilderness camps that have nurtured interest in the outdoors for generations are being put up for sale. The troubling trend comes amid rising awareness that American children need far more time outdoors,and selling big camps—including some of our most famous Boy Scout camps—works directly against solving the problem that author Richard Louv called “nature deficit disorder.” In response, LandChoices <http://www.landchoices.org/>, a Michigan-based
non-profit of national scope, is launching a new program to help save the big camps that are so important to America’s outdoor heritage, our outdoor future and our children’s health. Called ,
the program offers camp directors and boards specific and useful how-to advice for saving wild lands. The LandChoices’ program provides two key solutions to prevent the sale of big camps.
1. The program provides state-of-the-art, easy-to-understand information about using land conservation easements <http://www.landchoices.org/preserveland.htm>to permanently preserve Big Camp lands, and thereby eliminate the temptation to sell the camp for development.
2. The program helps increase big camp operating revenues with targeted information for improving fund-raising effectiveness.
“The problem is that many non-profit boards are seeing declining revenues and are looking at selling big camps as a way to raise money to cover operating expenses,” says Kirt Manecke, Founder and President of LandChoices. “But selling land assets to cover operating expenses is unfortunately a short-sighted solution that diminishes our children’s access to nature and doesn’t really solve the core problem of too little cash flow. If these camps are sold, they will never be replaced because the cost of land today is simply too great.”
Manecke decided to launch “Big Camps” after reading the best selling book *Last Child in the Woods; Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. The book points to studies that show connecting children with nature leads to lower levels of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), anxiety and depression. The book also points out that nature is potent therapy for childhood obesity.
For more information about LandChoices’ “Big Camps” solutions, visit www.landchoice.org/bigcamps.htm or contact Kirt Manecke at firstname.lastname@example.org.