The parents of children with attention deficit disorders are always searching for new ways to help their children cope. Luckily, an interesting study now suggests that spending time outdoors can help children. At Camp Blue Ridge, our residential camp near Alabama has always believed how beneficial time outside can be for children, and decided to look into this study a little further.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign started a new study that looked at how the environment can influence how well a child concentrates. The study evaluated seventeen children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. All of these children were evaluated by taking part in three separate twenty minute long walks in a park, in a residential neighborhood, and in a downtown area.
After each walk was completed, the children were given a test called, Digit Span Backwards. In this test, a series of numbers are spoken aloud and the child then has to recite them backwards. This test is a great way to measure the child's attention and concentration because practicing doesn’t improve what he or she will score. The order in which the area that they child walked through was varied for each individual, and the person performing the test didn't know which of the three walks that the child went on. The study concluded by showing that children were able to focus better after the “green” walks, like those through the park, compared to walks in other settings, like the residential and downtown walks. This research found that a “dose of nature” worked as well or even better to help children concentrate, than a dose of medication. Obviously, this study doesn't mean that nature is the best remedy for all children who have attention deficit problems. But, spending time in the great outdoors has long proven to be an effective, unlimited, and free resource available to everyone. This study just confirms the idea that we already believed, and that is that spending time outside is highly beneficial for everyone.
Here at Camp Blue Ridge, we strongly encourage our campers to spend their time outside, whether they have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorders or not. It’s worth a shot, after all a couple of hours outside is tons of fun! Between all of the exploring that campers can do and all of the residential camp activities that they can choose from, spending time outside is easy and fun!
If you're interested in sending your son or daughter to the best residential camp near Alabama next summer, then contact Camp Blue Ridge! Call us today at 706-746-5491 (summer) or 954-665-8686 (winter) for more information or to schedule an upcoming tour of our campgrounds!