All teenagers are “at-risk” of losing their connection with the most influential and important people in their lives. In today’s world where parents work long hours and teens would rather text message and play video games than hang out with their parents, often both parent and teen feel like they’re living with a stranger.
The impact of this disconnect is far-reaching. The degree of stability and security that a student feels at home directly impacts their sense of belonging, their self-esteem, and their self-confidence. This in-turn impacts how they respond to life’s challenges and opportunities. For kids with healthy relationships with their parents, the probability decreases that they will turn to drugs, sex, alcohol or even suicide but the odds increase that they will live productive, purposeful and healthy lives.
Children today spend only 30 minutes per week outdoors, yet they average 44.5 hours per week in front of electronic screens. Research shows that spending time outdoors is important to a child’s development in every major way – intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically. That is why we believe using outdoor activities is an ideal tool for bringing kids and parents together. When parents and kids go fishing together, the distractions disappear. And when they hike in the woods, the day-to-day stress and busyness of life is forgotten. CYO is giving families the gift of time. Learning together and playing together is quality time that opens the doors of communication, care, commitment and cooperation that allows families to thrive.
Our 2010 CYO participants survey showed that 96% of our respondents found that CYO strengthened their family. All students indicated that CYO helped increase their knowledge in all outdoor activities surveyed. For most participants, CYO positively influenced their attitudes toward conservation and management of natural resources and wildlife and all participants strongly desired more fishing trips and a camping program.
Colorado Youth Outdoors…
- Helps families find common ground and re-establish quality time together.
- Strengthens relationships between youth and parents through hands-on participation in traditional outdoor activities.
- Offers fun, recreation based outdoor education that provides youth and parents the opportunity to cultivate a lifelong appreciation of the outdoors and one another.
- Promotes a sense of belonging and inclusiveness among students, helping them become more confident in school and accepting of others.
- Eliminates cost barrier commonly associated with these recreations by charging a program fee of only $50 per family, making the program accessible to all. (Scholarships are also available.)
- Creates benefits to the traditional sports of hunting and fishing by helping spawn a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts.