It’s Never Too Late to Play

Here I’m sharing a blog post by John Griffith, a (local to me) crew supervisor for the California Conservation Corps. You might have seen him as the white country-ish guy in this recent viral video:

On his blog, he has a recent post titled, It’s never too late to play: Corps programs are good news for young adults who grew up during the indoor-childhood epidemic. In it, he describes a Corps member who is slow and distracted as they pull invasive grass by hand from a northern California beach. The distraction is due to the fact this is the young man’s first time standing on a beach. At the end of their work day, he ordered everyone to play, and they made sand castles.

Juan’s castle walls grew around him while other “walls” melted into the sand. It wasn’t an underestimated wave that washed them away. Juan’s walls simply couldn’t withstand the allure that nature presents.

I’m talking about the walls that well-intentioned parents erect to protect their kids from the nightmares that haunt primetime after dinner — only to have the victims of those nightmares meet their kids’ eyes looking out from a milk carton at breakfast.

These fear-built walls keep kids from going outside to build a fort by the creek near their rural home. They keep them from discovering the secret sleeping spots of birds in their urban neighborhood. They prevent them from sliding down a grassy hill on a flattened cardboard box just outside their suburb. The walls so frequently erected against perceived dangers serve to hide a whole generation from the beauty and lessons of nature.

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