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The Value of Outdoor Learning for Youth

At Trackers Northwest, the experienced staff teaches youth practical skills for outdoor activities, such as camping and adventure treks. Moreover, these outdoor learning classes help youngsters understand the interrelationship between the ecology of the land and its inhabitants.

Research indicates that outdoor learning contributes to improved physical health, enhances learning, increases interpersonal skills, and promotes overall well-being.

Children involved in outdoor learning increase their physical activity and fitness, and these habits extend into adulthood. Activities within green space reduce crime activities and help children focus. Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) show a decrease in symptoms.

Outdoor learning programs have been shown to increase problem-solving skills and promote creative thinking. Students in programs such as Trackers Northwest perform better academically, as measured by grade point averages and test performance. Additionally, these students are less likely to show disruptive classroom behavior. Furthermore, students in outdoor learning programs demonstrate greater enthusiasm for learning.

Youth who participate in outdoor learning activities show improved perceptions about themselves and demonstrate stronger interpersonal skills. Studies find that children in these programs express emotional stability, assertiveness, self-reliance, motivation, and maturity. These youth demonstrate social competence through cooperative behaviors and effective interpersonal communication skills.

Finally, outdoor learning programs also help children learn important lifestyle skills. When youth have opportunities to interact with nature, they are more inclined to develop ethics concerning environmental sustainability and conservation and to participate in recycling and volunteer activities.

About Trackers Northwest: Since 2004, Trackers Northwest has conducted urban learning programs, youth summer camps, and outdoor adventure programs in Oregon and Northern California. Founders Molly and Tony Deis emphasize the importance of family and community building within Trackers Northwest programs. Prior to starting Trackers Northwest, Tony Deis taught outdoor education and designed programs in collaboration with Greenspaces, the Audubon Society of Portland, Portland State University, and Metro Regional Parks.

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