While not mentioned above, this Toequet in Nature experience also seems to have afforded an opportunity to instill a sense of "Be Here Now in Process" ... connecting the group to the surroundings -- in the form of natural physicality -- they needed to play a fun game.
In addition, the study of more than 3,500 high school students in the state of Connecticut found those students with "problematic Internet use" were more likely than their peers to be depressed and aggressive, and to use drugs.
Girls more than boys were more likely to answer that they had problematic usage, but more boys said they spent in excess of 20 hours a week online -- about 17 percent of boys, compared to 13 percent of girls.
An important Public Health essay from the School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia adds impetus to the "therapeutics of nature" ....
"nature is defined as an organic environment where the majority of ecosystem processes are present (e.g. birth, death, reproduction, relationships between species). This includes the spectrum of habitats from wilderness areas to farms and gardens."
Recommendations include further investigation of ‘contact with nature’ in population health, and examination of the benefits of nature-based interventions. To maximize use of ‘contact with nature’ in the health promotion of populations, collaborative strategies between researchers and primary health, social services, urban planning and environmental management sectors are required. This approach offers not only an augmentation of existing health promotion and prevention activities, but provides the basis for a socio-ecological approach to public health that incorporates environmental sustainability.
This is important work, Randy!
Michael Cohen's work focuses on the issues you describe here- our acculturation to fear nature, to see it as dirty and dangerous and crude; something that we must conquer. I am program director of Cohen's graduate program, and Education Director of one of our outreach programs which teach experiential learning which leads from the client's natural attraction to pleasing natural settings and teaches activities which help the client to reconnect not only with the beauty, grace and intelligence of natural systems, but also the beauty, grace, and intelligence of their own inner nature. This works beautifully with kids, and the process of encountering and engaging around resistance to "undomesticated life" is both enlightening and restorative.
The activities we use are very simple, pleasurable activities done outside (or even inside with a houseplant) which help to open the senses and practice multi-sensory engagement. We work with 53 natural senses: http://gaiapsychology.blogspot.com/2011/05/our-fifty-three-natural-....
Hi Margie! Great to see PNC friends here! I've been a member of CN&N for a while but I hadn't spent much time here. Randy just connected with us so I came to see what he's up to. He's doing great stuff!