Natural Necessity

Eileen - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on April 19, 2008

I believe in the power of the outdoors, our sole connection to all things natural.

In this millennium, most time is spent inside in front of a screen. Whether the empty gaze lies upon a TV, computer, or cell phone, time is not being spent outside. New technology keeps us inside and inactive. People need to spend time outside. It doesn’t matter where you go, it just matters that you do. For me, the outdoors serve not only as a classroom, but a teacher. I have learned some of the most important lessons of my life outdoors. Being outdoors has brought me endless knowledge of myself and of the world around me.

I spend every summer at a Girl Scout camp, where I live, eat, and play outdoors. I find meaning in each day with nature. I am constantly discovering new things about myself and about the world around me. Whether I am rediscovering something or seeing it for the first time, change happens. Nature has helped shape me as the person I am today.

Nature will always be home to me, no matter where life takes me. Nature is home to the first creatures on Earth. Nature helps us feel at ease because nature is constant. Spending quality time outdoors is a positive and potentially life-altering experience. I have had many experiences that have changed my life. For instance, the first time I realized that I had an impact on the world, both positive and negative, has changed the way I live my life. Every choice we make in our everyday lives has an impact on our planet. When I learned about landfills and how much space they take up and the pollution they cause, I was curious to find out more. After seeing what a negative impact I was making in my everyday decisions, I wised up and made a change for the better. I began researching ways to help reduce my impact. Plastic containers for sack lunches in place of Baggies, reusable water bottles rather than plastic, unplugging unused electronics help me to make a difference.

Nature is a positive way to bring people together. Nature is a wonderful way to bring a group of different people together, to work as a team in a new environment. In many cases, the outdoors serve as that new environment. At my camp, girls of different age, race, experience and attitude are brought together. Though it seems they might never get along, in just 10 short days they are a cohesive unit of friends. In my years at camp, I have grown very close to people that in the real world I might not ever get to know. Though we all lead very different lives, we share a common bond: a passion for the outdoors.

I want to help bring the outdoors “back”. Too many people have yet to truly experience nature. Only then can they be complete, with understanding and acceptance for the world.