LITTLE FEET LEAVE A BIG IMPRINT: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO TEACH OUR KIDS TO LOVE THE OUTDOORS
By Megan Vinton (aka “Copper,” Outdoor School counselor nickname)
KEEN Product Line Manager, Kids Footwear
Teaching kids about the outdoors and the natural environment are essential lifelong lessons. That philosophy has always been core to KEEN’s mission, and it’s even more important today.
As a child who attended Outdoor School and was a counselor twice myself, I realized the many benefits of getting kids outside of the classroom to learn, explore and discover early on. It may have even helped set the path for my career decision. In my role at KEEN, I see the positive difference that an appreciation for the outdoors brings to kids and their families every day. Every child in Oregon deserves access to that same basic understanding and experience. That’s why both personally and professionally, I’m a big believer in supporting Outdoor School statewide.
From a purely business point of view, it’s vital that the entire outdoor industry recognize the tremendous value of teaching our kids to learn to appreciate the natural world. After all, kids don’t need waterproof shoes if they’re sitting on the couch watching TV. They don’t need performance gear if they never go outside. There’s no call for recreational equipment if their world only revolves around a screen.
Let’s get them up and outdoors, fill them with wonder about the world and teach them the lifelong joy of exploration and teamwork, through new challenges, play and discovery. From enriching the lives of our children and the long term benefits it offers, an investment in Outdoor School is one we’ll all be better off for making.