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Nature experiences for more children and families

Nature experiences for more children and families

Throughout history, Brynje has taken part in countless trips and expeditions around the world. Humans are part of nature, and we need the resources nature gives us - both to survive and to strengthen our mental and physical health. And precisely for this reason, it is also our responsibility to take care of nature for future generations. Taking care of nature requires that we know it and have a relationship with it. You take care of what you know and love.

Many are lucky and learn to know nature from a young age. Today, however, many children and young people grow up without getting to know nature - and the number is increasing. Our ambassador Alexander Read - known from the TV series Mina og meg - shares our concern about this development. For several years, he has worked with Blue Cross and his own small tour organization TURMAGI so that more children and families can get good encounters with nature. We in Brynje cheer on this important work and here you can read what Alexander writes in his own words:


- Fewer and fewer children get to know nature. It is worrying.

We know through recent research that children in today's society play significantly less outside in nature than in the past. And we see that less outdoor life and outdoor play is linked to increased use of screens, an increased degree of organized activity and more sitting indoors. We see an ever-increasing negative trend with increased mental and physical ill-health among children and young people, as well as increasing levels of child and youth crime. At the same time, we are also experiencing ever-increasing inequality and differences in society. This gives room for concern.

As a family man, adventurer and outdoor therapist, I, together with my wife, am concerned with facilitating a family life where nature plays a central role in our lives. Where the sum of the short trips and long trips gives us plenty of time with each other, nature and ourselves so that we can make mistakes, learn, explore, play and develop. We want that for our children, and we feel that outdoor life and nature is a fantastic arena for creating good relationships and a connection to nature of which we are all a part. Simply explained, I would say that we try to protect something that characterized my own childhood in the 80s and 90s: The free play outside in the street or in the nearby forest. With the simple Sunday trips or weekend trips.

In the last five to six years, I have spent considerable time and energy on better understanding what it is that prevents free play, connection to nature and participation in outdoor life. Especially among families with children and young people. In this connection, I have been involved in developing and implementing service offers, trips and events to try and meet some of these challenges. In general, there seems to be less playing and outdoor life in today's families and societies. I have a burning commitment to all of those who, for various reasons, are outside society (and often outdoor life), or find themselves in vulnerable life situations. What is it that makes all these individuals and groups in society not included? Why are they not familiar with The Norwegian Trekking Association DNT, the Scouts or the ski association? Why are many of them outside society, as well as outdoor life? It is based on these questions that I, as an outdoor therapist and outdoor guide, both learn, explore and facilitate encounters with nature and people at the Blue Cross Children's Station. I also do this through my own small tour organization TURMAGI.

I believe it is deeply unfair that our own children should grow up with lots of good nature and human encounters, while many others do not have access to free play, imagination, good conversations, mastery, and all that other children can get through outdoor life. This applies regardless of whether one can be defined as being in a vulnerable life situation or not. I am passionate about reversing the negative trends of more screen time, sitting still and mental and physical ill health among children and young people in a world that I feel is becoming increasingly fragmented and divided. I want even more children to experience good encounters with nature and people so that they can grow up with a connection to nature, good people and feel good inside.

I'm not at the finish line, but I'm on my way!

Alexander Read


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