Unplug for 100 Hours This Summer!

Can You Unplug for 100 Hours This Summer? Can you unplug for that long? OARS, one of the largest rafting companies in the world, is asking you and your family to do just that with the #100HoursUnplugged Challenge. How to participate? That can equal a long weekend camping trip, multiple summer hikes, or two hours having fun in your yard or neighborhood park every afternoon for seven weeks. The challenge is meant to be doable, and OARS intentionally launched the campaign during the summer when families often take their vacations. Children eight to 18 years old spend between six to nine hours a day consuming media, excluding screen time for schoolwork. Now television lures the young ones in and sets them down for hours and hours every week.” Not much has changed, except that in addition to television, now computers, smartphones, and tablets compete for children’s attention (although television still dominates). As Richard Louv, the co-founder of the Children and Nature Outdoors Network and author of several books about connecting families to nature wrote, “The truth is we’ve always used technology to get outside. Families that participate in the challenge get to decide what going “unplugged” means to them—whether that’s going into “airplane mode” or disconnecting from digital devices entirely.
The rafting company has launched a campaign to get families outside

Can you get your child to “unplug” for 100 hours this summer? Can you unplug for that long? OARS, one of the largest rafting companies in the world, is asking you and your family to do just that with the #100HoursUnplugged Challenge. How to participate? Just leave your screen-based lives behind—no texts, television, Facebook, or Instagram—and spend time together outdoors for 100 hours. That can equal a long weekend camping trip, multiple summer hikes, or two hours having fun in your yard or neighborhood park every afternoon for seven weeks. The challenge is meant to be doable, and OARS intentionally launched the campaign during the summer when families often take their vacations.

Children eight to 18 years old spend between six to nine hours a day consuming media, excluding screen time for schoolwork. At a panel discussion at the Family Travel Association Summit in 2016, Steve Markel, the VP of marketing for OARS, said that encouraging kids to play in nature is not only essential for their physical and emotional health, but “it’s the best way—maybe the only way—to ensure the protection of our national parks and public lands for the enjoyment of future generations.” OARS has partnered with Outdoor Families Magazine, Children & Nature Network, Family Travel Association, National Park Foundation, Chacos, and NRS, a mix of nonprofit organizations and corporations to launch the challenge.

The question of how much time children spend consuming media—and its effect on childhood development—is not a new one. In the Victorian era parents blamed penny dreadfuls” for causing an uptick in juvenile delinquency, and comic books were maligned for the same reason in the 1950s. Once television invaded American homes in the postwar era, screens became the object of concern. Over 50 years ago, the famed…

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