First Nature offers daytime and after school programs for boys, girls and co-ed groups from early elementary age through high school ages. Numerous studies have conclusively demonstrated the benefits children receive from time spent in nature. First Nature children and youth programs emphasize exposure in science-intuitive based learning and understanding of plants, animals and the environment around us as well as peer mentoring, learning games, development of self-leadership skills, and promoting the awareness of the individual impact on ones self, others and the environment locally and globally.

A deep value held by me through the developing of First Nature is to give youth a chance to discover and develop a sense of who they are through time "gazing into the mirror" of nature. Your ancestors, my ancestors, ancient cultures from all over the world vividly understood that an untended connection to nature severed the connection to oneself, thereby severing connection to family and ultimately family and community. The result is a detached individuality consuming resources within a society of as opposed to a

unique member of community who is replenishing those same social resources. It may seem that it was easier to maintain connection to land and nature when things were simpler. But the truth is that while our tools and uses of the land may look radically different than thousands of years ago, everything we eat, use, build and create still come from the same elements of our planet that old ones were using. Nothing has changed except our relationship to Earth.

Maintaining a vivid, vital and flourish connection to nature is, and always has been, part of our DNA and social programming. It's still there today and fortunately for the plastic mind of youth, given the time, support and guidance, they can retrieve and reawaken this rich and fulfilling aspect of what makes us fully human so very quickly. Whether it's First Nature, another organization, or just an inspiration you have to get outside more with your kids, I couldn't encourage and support it more. Get out there!

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“The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.” 
  -  Richard Louv