A generation ago, perhaps two, the idea that children had to be encouraged to play outdoors would have seemed laughable. If anything, today's grandparents remember being called by their own parents to come into the house because it was too dark outside.
That was then. Today, many youngsters, fully engaged with computers, television sets and other electronic devices, never even think of going outside to play.
Although that shift became obvious to natural resources managers and educators by the turn of the century, it didn't catch the attention of the public at large until the 2005 publication of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder" by Richard Louv, who documented the growing disconnect between youngsters and the natural world. To those with an outdoor recreation bent, the decline…
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