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March 07, 2014 13:46 in News by Nea :: Article Rating

Does your child have 'Nature Deficit Disorder'?

Getting back to nature.

Do you think your kids have 'nature deficit disorder'?

What about you??!!

Richard Louv first coined the term 'nature deficit disorder'** in 2005 to describe the trend of people disconnecting with nature as our city lives become increasingly bound by the urban setting, the increase in “screen time” and lack of time in general.

Don’t panic, this “syndrome” is not recognized in any of the medical manuals for mental disorders ... yet!!

He also theorises that sensationalist media coverage and paranoid parents have literally "scared children straight out of the woods and fields", while promoting a litigious culture of fear that favours "safe" regimented sports over imaginative play.

Of course Mt Barney Lodge has a great interest in this field, as we conduct mid-week school and group Outdoor Education camps facilitating the time the kids spend outdoors. And with our everyday guests, we always try to “connect people with nature” on an everyday basis and through guided walks, abseiling and rock climbing. This is why our office sculpture is so apt!!

If you missed out on Richards talking tour, you can still listen to this great interview with ABC’s Geraldine Doogue.


Innes, Tracey and Hamish from Mt Barney Lodge travelled to Brisbane to listen to a presentation by Richard in the State Library in February.  What he had to say reaffirmed our outdoor education philosophy, and inspired many new ideas that we plan to add to the way we do things at the Lodge.

One of the new government initiatives that we will be supporting is the play outside gatherings that will be happening all across the country that you can sign-up to or host with your friends, family and community. Some of them will be hosted at Mt Barney Lodge as well.

QORF (Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation) is rolling out a new initiative called Nature Play Qld, and it is aimed at encouraging Queensland young people back outside for unstructured playtime, in order to receive all the associated benefits that go hand.

Aimed at young people aged 0-12, this program plans to see benefits in health, social, emotional development and in the building of resilience and creativity. Experience in nature also leads to environmental stewardship.

Their tag line is “no child left indoors” – we love this!! Check out their website for resources and updates Subscribe to the Nature Play newsletter here and Facebook page. Remember to keep in touch with Mt Barney Lodge via our blog and facebook page to see how we will be supporting the roll-out of this program locally.

We have realised that what we do at Mt Barney Lodge, by default, is inoculating our guests against “nature deficit disorder”!! If it is time to get your booster shot against nature deficit disorder, you can simply come our and stay and play at Mt Barney Lodge.


**Richard Louv first wrote about what he called a ‘nature deficit disorder’ in relation to children in the best-seller Last Child in the Woods. He then went on to establish the ‘Leave No Child Inside’ movement.

But he was then overwhelmed by adults with stories of their own disconnect going on, which led to the publication of The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder.


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  • Does your child have 'Nature Deficit Disorder'?
  • Does your child have 'Nature Deficit Disorder'?
  • Does your child have 'Nature Deficit Disorder'?
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