Each monthly daylong in a Stepping Stones group has a different focus within the arc of the Coming-of-Age program and curriculum. In our monthly blog posts, we describe the importance of each of these aspects of the program and how the Stepping Stones group meets the need. Sometimes you’ll find personal reflections from the Stepping Stones community or tales from an exciting adventure a group embarked on. Read on!
When I was a kid, my family lived up in the hills of near a major metropolitan city. Both of my parents worked, so my brothers and I were often home alone after school. After the bus dropped us off, we’d grab a snack, a few friends, and head straight for “the Gully”. The Gully was a big sunken area full of trees, critters, and all kinds of other wonders. We would turn over rocks to find salamanders and pill bugs, try to catch lizards, and make forts from downed branches and leaves. This kind of time outside, even in a city, was the birth of my connection to nature.
The world is a very different place for youth today. It’s not news to anyone that kids are spending less time outdoors and more time on their devices. Let’s face it, everyone is. According to the non-profit group Common Sense Media, teens are spending more than one-third of their days on screens, almost nine hours on average. For those between the ages of 8 and 12, the average is around six hours per day. Add to that a busier schedule than ever for teens - with school work and a plethora of enrichment activities vying for their time. Where is the bulk of this time spent? Inside. The time to be in nature is limited by busy schedules and the allure and ease of technology.