Getting Outside at the White House

NWF and OAK bring youth to White House to experience outdoor activities

07-08-2011 // Mary Burnette
NWF and Oak get outside at the Whitehouse

The National Wildlife Federation teamed up with other members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) on the South Lawn of the White House to participate in an outdoor activity day for local kids in support of the First Lady’s Let's Move Outside! program. Seventy-five students from Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School in Washington, DC, were treated to some outdoor fun where they learned the importance of an active, outdoor lifestyle. The kids experienced rock climbing, a camping demo, a kayak clinic, fly-fishing lessons, and a mountain biking course. 

National Wildlife Federation and outdoor equipment manufacturer and retailer REI participated in an event to show the young people how to set up a campsite and pitch a tent. The youth then all set up tents simultaneously, for an active and hands-on skill learning and team-building session. Ingredients for making a healthy trail mix to fuel an outdoor lifestyle was then shared with the group.

On the same day OAK launched the new Get Your Nature On Facebook application to provide inspiration, encouragement and resources for young people who commit to getting physically active in the outdoors this year. This new initiative, launched in celebration of OAK’s one year anniversary, will help children and families improve their health, spend quality time together and develop an appreciation for the natural world, all leading to good conservation stewardship.

NWF and Oak get outside at the Whitehouse

It also supports the First Lady’s goal to end childhood obesity in one generation by encouraging children and youth to use America’s green spaces and natural places to improve their physical fitness. The Get Your Nature On challenge will provide children, youth, families, caregivers and others with the tools they need to have a safe and rewarding experience in the outdoors.

“The Nature of childhood has changed, and there isn’t much nature in it,” said Larry Schweiger, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO.” “The National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There campaign and NatureFind web site support the First Lady’s Lets Move Outside initiative by providing an array of activities and events to get kids and their families outdoors, active, and connecting with nature.” 

NWF and Oak get outside at the Whitehouse

America is fortunate to have forests, prairies, mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, parks, gardens, backyards and other green spaces. But with more children growing up indoors and becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world, OAK aims to reverse this trend by reconnecting kids with the outdoors. 

The Outdoor Alliance for Kids is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in expanding opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors.  By developing diverse partnerships, OAK plans to grow a healthier future by rooting the next generation in nature.

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