Texas Parks and Wildlife Plans Camping 101 Workshop

Texas Parks and Wildlife Plans Camping 101 Workshop
El Pasoan George Garcia has never heard of the term nature-deficit disorder.

But you can't blame him, not too many people have.

"It sounds like someone who is allergic to the outdoors and nature," Garcia said while looking at camping equipment at a Lower Valley sporting goods store. "I really don't have any idea."

Nature-deficit disorder is a hypothesis presented by author Richard Louv in his 2005 book, "Last Child in the Woods," that people and especially children are spending less time outdoors, resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems.

In his book, Louv calls it a social trend where "the human costs of alienation from nature, among them diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illness. We're raising the very first generation of Americans to grow up disconnected with nature and this broken relationship is making kids overweight, depressed and distracted."

Robert Owen, a ranger with the state Parks and Wildlife's Texas Outdoor Family Program, is trying to get fellow Texans to reconnect with nature by providing family-friendly, overnight camping workshops to introduce camping skills and other types of outdoor recreation.

"The provided gear and ranger presence allows for families to participate who otherwise might not attempt it on their own," Owen said. "We've seen fears quickly give way to smiles and laughter once the tents are standing and air mattresses inflated."

The weekend camp will start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Tom…
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