The squeal of excitement as my child finds a slug. The exhilaration on her face as she splashes through a stream. The exuberance as she climbs a steep mountain at a sprint, loaded down with two backpacks.

These are the memories I will hold dear when my kids grow up. And I have no doubt, they will remember them too.

To me, these memories have connected me not just to my own childhood but has reminded me, time and time again, to what is most important in life. Our connections to people, nature, and ourselves.

In the hustle and bustle of every day life, it’s easy to forget that.

But nature has a way of slowing your heart rate down and helping you connect with other people, nature, and yourself.

I hope all kids have a chance to connect to nature in a meaningful way because it will serve as a sanctuary for the remainder of their lives and remind them to care about the fragile world we live in.

The best time to encourage kids to fall in love with nature is before age six because after that age, they often never put up with the occasional discomfort in order to connect to nature on a deep level.

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