The Outdoor Foundation just published their annual Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, an online survey that asks over 60,000 Americans ages 6 and older about their habits regarding 114 different outdoor activities. The verdict is both good and bad: While overall participation in outdoor recreation is up slightly for Americans as a whole, kids age 6-17 ditched wilderness pursuits like an outdated Playstation.
Just over 50 percent of the respondents surveyed got outside a total of 11.36 billion times, but they didn't take their kids with them: Outdoor activities both near and far from home are down by 11 percent in kids 6-17, with even sharper declines among kids 6-12.
That's depressing. If you've got even the slightest interest in keeping our nation's kids from turning into Slushie-swilling, pear-shaped Call of Duty experts, consider leading any young ones you know into the wild. If you hate kids, then just give your money to others who'll take them out for you—Summit For Someone is a good place to start.
I don't want to sound like a grandpa quite yet, but on the other hand, I kind of can't wait to be a crotchety, bitter old man. So here goes: "Dammit, kids, turn off that blasted WiiBox and get outside. Don't make Grandpa get out the belt."
Outdoor Recreation Participation Report 2008
Image Credit: Yogi