Families in Nature encourages all of our volunteer Guides to start Nature Communities in their own school, neighborhood, or organization. A Nature Community is a group of people that explore nature together.
One of the most valuable things about a Nature Community is its ability to provide scheduled family or friend time during which everyone works and plays together outside without the distractions of electronics, work, and chores. The multi-age structure of a Nature Community provides opportunities for older kids to learn leadership when helping younger kids, and it encourages younger kids to learn to become leaders when they get bigger. Children who learn to work in a multi-age groups to solve problems are gaining valuable life skills because multi-age settings are much more like the real world of work.
Nature Communities that are for the whole family also benefit sibling bonds. Brothers and sisters can have positive time together to play and problem solve in a way that separated grade levels at school and age/gender divided sports and activities do not allow. In a world where families are constantly over scheduled and have to “divide and conquer” to get kids to all of their activities (one parent takes one child to one place, while the other parent takes another child to a different place), family nature communities provide a rare opportunity for family time all together. They can also provide a strong community for single parent families, as well as a respite from parenting all week since a group of families can all work together to watch a group of kids more easily.
A Nature Community is one of the only activities a child can sign up for that the whole family can come to and enjoy together. Children gain so much from being outside, and Nature Communities are an effective way to not only provide that opportunity for kids, but to strengthen families by providing scheduled time together outdoors, where parents receive the same benefit their kids do from being immersed in nature.