Why we need more outdoor programming for Sitka’s children

Skipping stones on the beach near Sitka National Historical Park

Skipping stones on the beach near Sitka National Historical Park

On Saturday, Nov. 8, Sitka Outdoor Recreation Coalition members Michelle Putz and Mim McConnell stopped by the Boys and Girls Club to interview Sitka children about what types of outdoor activities fill their free time and whether or not they went outside that weekend.

Michelle and Mim interviewed 23 kids from about the ages of 8-14, and the results were somewhat depressing. Of that group, only a quarter of the kids said they’d been outdoors that weekend, and the weather was pretty nice that Saturday. When they asked about what types of outdoor activities the kids liked, it took a bit of prompting to get the kids to think of some favorite outdoor activities and even more prompting to think of activities that weren’t school sports.

“These kids really did not seem to think of the outdoors as fun and they also did not seem to think about unstructured activity outside,” Mim and Michelle wrote in their report (see attached).

The kids were asked the following: What fun things do they do outside right now, what might they like to do outside for fun that they are not doing now, and what could we (adults) do to help them get outside more to have fun?

• Notes from Boys and Girls Club interviews on Nov. 8, 2010

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