Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Let the Children Play Outside

Here's a group after our own hearts...

The P.I.N.E. project
is dedicated to Creating a Culture of Nature Connection. Who on earth are they? The Primitive Integrated Naturalist Education (P.I.N.E.) Project, is a registered non-profit organization created to bring the wonders of the natural world back to the urban jungle.

Once upon a time, not so far away, and so long ago, we were all kids. And back then, kids played outdoors. We built tree houses and forts, and sometimes fell out of them. We built tiny dams in small creeks, and got wet and muddy. We didn't come home until Mom rang a big bell, and then only to eat before heading back out. The world outside the door was the greatest playground ever invented. There's a natural magnetism that draws kids to the wonders of nature, from the tiniest bugs to the hugest trees, with all the animals, vegetables and minerals you can find in between.

Lately, as lives get busier, kids became more structured, and more removed from the wondeful world of growing things and elements. Now we hear comments from kids, such as "I like to play indoors, because that's where all the outlets are." Kids need to spend more time in Nature -- there's even a name for the condition now: Nature Deficit Disorder. It's linked to all sorts of things, including Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity and Learning Disablities. The bottom line, is kids need plenty of time, unstructured not team play which is mostly about role playing, time to be kids, to figure themselves out. And all the evidence is pointing to the fact that they need the Great Outdoors to help them do that.

Even mainstream movies are waking to the terrible price we pay when we disconnect from our world. Norman Cameron, director of Avatar, when asked "What is Avatar saying?" replied “It asks questions about our relationship with each other, from culture to culture, and our relationship with the natural world at a time of nature-deficit disorder.”

There's an excellent -- and quite unsettling -- book called Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv. We recommend it to all parents, all educators, all recreation staff, everywhere. To quote Mr. Louv, "Within recent decades, a generation of children has disconnected from nature. The widening gap threatens health and spirit. And if the trend continues, who will be the true stewards of the Earth?"

The P.I.N.E. project runs a wide variety of programs to help people re-connect with their world, and one of their outreach programs involves a series of talks by educator and internationally certified tracker Dan Gardoqui of White Pine Programs on topics including the value of nature connection, and techniques to help create a culture of nature connection in your life, your home, and your community.

You can catch this at several venues, but if you are up here, in North Muskoka, the closest is the Huntsville Public Library, Saturday February 13th from 6-8pm (In March, you can find the program speaker in London, Peterborough, Burlington and Toronto.)

At Bondi Village Resort, with our own 600 acres of wilderness around us, with ski and hiking trails, our black spruce bog and hidden lakes, forests and animals and fields and plants, we have been blessed to witness and participate in the connecting of people to nature for over a century. Our wolf howls and star search programs on the lawn always evoke a sense of wonder and delight. Tracking a deer across a snowy field, watching birds at the feeders, finding a hidden nest, or even watching the ice gradually leave the lakes -- there is, every day, magic everywhere in the world around us.

So it goes without saying that we are delighted to see organizations such as P.I.N.E., and authors such as Audobon award winning Louv gaining in popularity and profile.

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