We have a terrific program, but we are undersubscribed. The Boys and Girls Club is a five minute walk away from the meadow, but they haven't brought their kids once. The negative effects of not going outdoors are well documented on this site. However, I don't think the average parent has any idea of the problems and benefits. Do they know what their kids are missing from not going outdoors?
Regarding the summer session, do they want their kids to spend time outdoors learning about nature? Some parents are terribly afraid of going outside themselves and never take their children to parks or the beach. Our tact is to encourage parents to push the Y and B&G Clubs, etc., to take their kids outside for either 2 mornings a week or for every day for a week. We're querying parents and parent groups (homeschooling, PTOs, etc.) to find out what parents want and whether we can spark some interest.
Early last summer we were building a meadow with ELL high school students at a top-of-the-line high school. The principal consulted their lawyer and told us to stop because a kid might get stung by a bee. Instead, we lead a field trip to a local meadow and indoors activities for the rest of the time.
What do you think? Any ideas would be welcome. Thank you. Barbara and Jean