Is the current generation of kids disconnecting with nature?

Nature Deficit Disorder, is it for real??!Are kids getting out in nature as much as they should?

The concept of ‘roughing it’ to enjoy the outdoors has long been part of the way of life for many cultures. Going camping with your Dad was almost a right of passage and it was here one learned many things, not just about their parents, but of the natural world around them.

When our parent company World Expeditions offered their first trek to Nepal back in 1975, trading then as Australian Himalayan Expeditions, it was not hard to find people who shared the companies passion for exploring the natural world around us. Going on a camping based walk was an extension of the natural past time for many Australian's and the idea of not washing for days or peeing out in the wild was not a foreign concept.

What about today?

Our community is changing. As a specialist in the adventure travel sector with over three decades of experience we've noticed some vast changes in attitudes of the travelling public.

The evolving trend for more comfort in adventure travel holidays supports the headlines about our growing sedentary lifestyle. Helicopters up to oxygen filled rooms in the Everest region, porters carrying unnecessary equipment for celebrities on Kilimanjaro, even the introduction of furniculars in once wild and pristine regions throughout Europe indicates a shift, either our behaviour or the extreme desire to attract the dollars of those who would otherwise never visit these special regions.
Most alarmingly, many reports point towards today’s youth. Increases in child weight gain, depression and an addiction to an electronic umbilical cord which pumps out advertisements heralding the benefits of manufactured foods, and even more computer activity, has seemingly caused a rapid decline in the time spent outdoors by children.

With all the advances in modern living through an increased urban lifestyle we’re worried that the next generation will be passed on the concept that nature is not our friend and that it offers little benefit.

It’s concerning that concepts that helped to inspire terms such as ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ and ‘Protective House Arrest’ - both coined by American author Richard Louv – have sprung into mainstream thinking.

The idea that it has been a removal from nature that could be causing the health problem within kids, as well

Youth4Youth ChallengeYouth4Youth Challenge

as the idea that this removal is being encouraged by parents who believe that the outdoors is a dangerous place, is something that worries many of us who have learned the exact opposite during our formative years.


For this reason World Youth Adventures created the Youth4Youth Challenge. The central idea behind the event is to promote bushwalking to young people as well as provide ways for these participants to assist their seriously ill and disadvantaged peers by fundraising for a cause that help them.

The first event was held in Sydney, Australia, and raised over $20,000 for the Starlight Children's Foundation's Livewire program.

Now in it's second year, the next event will be held on 13 October 2013, once again in Sydney, and this year the beneficiaries include Starlight Children's Foundation once again as well as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards' pilot program with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Visit the Youth4Youth Challenge website to learn how you can be involved.
fundraising walks

Comment (1)


<…> a past post we touched on the phrase ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ which was coined by Richard. Put simply, Richard’s use of the term aims to show the <…>

7 years ago
Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.