Bridge Bay at Shasta lake logo

Reconnecting Our Youth with Nature  

Reconnecting Our Youth with Nature  

Technology is such an integrated part of our lives. Most of us don’t realize exactly how much it has disconnected us from the natural world. Not to mention a simpler, healthier way of life.  

The pitfalls of excessive tech use—especially among youths—are well-documented by now. Thankfully, parents and the public seem to be more and more aware of these effects.  

Startling as it may be, many young people today have never experienced a world without the Internet. This results in a totally different life experience, worldview, value system, and even neural wiring. Young people are more and more overstimulated by electronics, and less and less interested in outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and boating.  

This poses a concern not only for outdoor + recreation businesses but also for the health and well-being of future generations. 

Curtail the Tech and Reclaim the Great Outdoors! 

The question becomes: how do we re-ignite interest in outdoor recreation such as houseboating among youths? Is it even possible to disconnect them from their phones at this point? Can the slower pace of the great outdoors truly compete with the infinitely captivating world of virtual reality? 

If you’ve ever been a teenager, you remember how much resistance there is to adults. And a parent trying to convince you to do something? It just doesn’t work.  

Young people are going through their own phase of life—a phase that is important and valid. It’s not going to go over well if you’re trying to tell them to do some boring camping or boating trip. Especially if you tell them, “It will be good for you”.  

A better strategy would be to share the benefits, offer the opportunity to experience the activity and let them decide for themselves. This is especially true for younger people growing up in a digital generation forming their own outlook on the world. 

Let’s Talk About Benefits 

Luckily, there are stacks of data suggesting that spending time outdoors and reducing the distractions of technology, have massive benefits on our mental and physical health 

Firstly, being outdoors is perhaps the most powerful natural remedy for improving mental health, including depression and anxiety. Even the most minimal time spent outside can be beneficial.  

The easiest remedy is also the most obvious and readily available: the Sun. Receiving a regular daily dose of sunlight—no matter what time of year—increases vitamin D exposure which improves bone health, reduces depression, and boosts immunity (to name a select few).  

When combined with physical activity, being in nature can also bring improved sleep quality, reduce stress, increase focus and concentration, heighten creativity, and boost problem-solving 

Just think about all the great Tik Toks that could emerge out of this newfound energy. 

For Parents: Start Small, Take Baby Steps 

It’s important to understand that the psyche of the modern young person is almost completely different than those of generations before. As a parent, don’t expect too much when trying to convince your kids to spend time in nature.  

We suggest starting small, and using baby steps: 

Start with shorter outings.  

  • Start with an hour or two at the park or a walk on a local trail. 
  • Build up towards day trips to lakes or campsites, then progress to overnight trips. 

Allot for certain hours when screens are allowed.  

  • For example: One hour of screen time after lunch or dinner. 
  • Don’t be too strict on the rules. 

Tie in Being in Nature with Learning a New Skill. 

  • For example: gardening, planting flowers, growing vegetables, fishing, chopping wood, etc. 
  • This can help take the mind away from distractions, and instead focus on something both productive and fulfilling. 

Above all, allow time to integrate into the experience. This allows them to feel the benefits of being amidst beautiful natural surroundings, living at a slower pace, and connecting with nature. There’s no need to overdo it with the outings (at least at first).  

Allow time for them to really absorb what it felt like being on a houseboat in the middle of a lake, being under the stars at the campsite, or hearing the sounds of animals without electronic interference. This way, there won’t be any need to convince them to come back for more—the feelings and results will speak for themselves. 

Plan Your Trip to Shasta Lake 

Our resort at Bridge Bay Marina has tons of options to accommodate your vacation for short- and long-term stays. There is something for everyone at Shasta Lake.  

It’s time to disconnect and be present in the moment. Contact us or book your reservation now to get started!