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Technological advancements, global warming, and lack of public safety have led to unfortunate lifestyle changes. Children spend the majority of their time indoors. As a result, exposure to nature and getting outside has become limited. According to the Child Mind Institute, the average American child spends a meager four to seven minutes playing outdoors per day. Unfortunately, their screen time usually exceeds seven hours per day.

This limited outdoor exposure affects children’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Per the findings of a Danish study, children with the lowest exposure to green space have a 55% greater risk of developing psychiatric diseases as an adult.

​Outdoor play stimulates children’s senses, develops intellectual abilities, and contributes to their physical and emotional well-being at R.A.D. Camps, we understand the importance of outdoor exploration and interaction with nature. Therefore, all our programs focus on exposure to the natural world, camaraderie, free play, and fun.

During our summer day camp programs, we explore over 50 unique and pristine locations in the forests and mountains of Central Oregon. Children who enroll in our summer day camp programs play games together, swim, eat lunch, and become familiar with local flora and fauna.

Below is a list of five ways spending time in the great outdoors benefits children.

Promotes Intellectual Development and Stimulates The Brain

​Children are curious beings. Their fresh young minds are eager to explore and learn about new things. The great outdoors is filled with exciting sights, colors, scents, sounds, and textures. The natural world is like a vast laboratory with different stimulants. Children who spend time in the natural environment tend to be more creative and inclined towards STEM education.

Being in the outdoors sharpens children’s intellectual and cognitive abilities. They explore, analyze, and make quick decisions while playing simple outdoor games. When surrounded by natural elements, their curiosity is heightened. They ponder different phenomena such as how the birds build nests, how rivers are formed, where the insects live, how tall a tree can grow, etc.  

These questions stimulate their brains and lead children to form different hypotheses. Spending time in nature makes children smarter and enhances their understanding of scientific processes and science-based solutions.

Reduces Stress and Relaxes Children

​Due to school and other activities, most children have hectic schedules. Connecting with nature allows them to de-stress and relax. Children are free to explore the outdoors, run around, play games, and make as much noise as possible. Such free expression of the self is not possible indoors. Running, jumping, swimming, rowing, climbing, hopping, and other physical activities release feel-good hormones, which reduce anxiety, tension, and restlessness.

Spending time in nature also allows children to release their excess energy.


Children can be engaged in different activities that require their focus and energy. These activities include digging a hole, climbing a tree, observing a bird build its nest and animals feeding their offspring, etc. Involvement in these activities reduces anxiety and ADHD in children.

​Searching for an entertaining and affordable outdoor summer adventure for your child? Enroll them in our R.A.D. Camps summer camp programs. Our summer day camp programs are located in Bend, Oregon. We have multiple fun-filled trips for children to the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. Our motto is “no child left inside.” We connect children with nature through fun-filled activities.

For more information, visit our website, contact us, or call us at (541) 410-7258.


Chance is the owner and CEO of R.A.D. Camps in Bend, Oregon. He attended R.A.D. Camps summer programs as a kid and loved it so much he bought the company!