After observing President Trump and his approach to governing and to life for the past year or so, I wondered whether he would be the same person and make the same decisions if he had attended nature camp as a child. And given his position, it bears asking the question, can nature education change the world?
We know that attending camp helps kids develop initiative, grit and resilience. They learn to live in community and build self awareness from their interactions with others. They individualize, developing their unique identities. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Nature camp in particular offers kids a chance to express curiosity, constantly. They develop empathy for people and for other animals and for plants. They come to respect science as they test ideas through their explorations. They begin to understand the role of nature in sustaining all of us, and how it provides irreplaceable services at no cost to us, other than the cost of just leaving them be.
In the name of the economy, President Trump has rolled back environmental protections and disclaimed science. In his business, he has taken a very aggressive, winner takes all approach. Both of these attitudes are fundamentally inconsistent with the lessons that nature teaches.
As this generation's kids grow up educated, empowered and connected to nature, it is difficult to conceive of the continuing presence of leaders in our society who will assert priorities bearing any resemblance to those of President Trump. He and others like him are truly a dying breed.
With nature education, we are evolving toward a more symbiotic existence with each other and the Earth that gives us all that we need. And I for one am looking forward to seeing the work of the coming leaders, our kids.
As always, we'd love your feedback. See you on the trail!