Outdoor Children's Camps Albuquerque NM

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Loma Linda Community Center
(505) 764-1525
1700 Yale SE
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon-Fri 8am-6pm
Cost
Inexpensive
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Indoors

McKinley Community Center
(505) 888-8133
3401 Monroe NE
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon-Fri 8am-6pm
Cost
Varies with program
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Indoors, Parents Resources

Whittier Community Center
(505) 256-2093
11000 Quincy SE
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon-Fri 7am-6pm
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Indoors, Kids Resources

Wells Park Community Center
(505) 848-1390
500 Mountain Road NW
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon-Fri 7:30am-6pm
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Indoors, Leagues & Teams

Tingley Beach
(505) 768-2000
1800 Tingley Drive SW
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Daily, sunrise to sunset
Cost
Free
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment

Thomas Bell Community Center
(505) 848-1332
3001 University SE
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon-Thu 8am-8pm; Fri 8am-6pm
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Indoors

HB and Lucille Horn Family YMCA
(505) 265-6971
4901 Indian School Road NE
Albuquerque, NM
Cost
Varies; see website
Ages
All Ages
Services Available
Camps, Childcare, Classes, Indoors

Junior Filmmaker Academy Summer Camp
(505) 859-2124
1025 Lomas Boulevard NW
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, & Fri 9am-3pm, , , ,
Ages
17-Nov
Services Available
Camps

Menaul School
(505) 341-7243
301 Menaul Boulevard NE
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
June 2-July 11, Mon-Fri 8am-3:30pm
Cost
$600/three-week session; weekly drop-in available
Ages
14-Aug
Services Available
Camps

Working Classroom
(505) 242-9267
212 Gold SW
Albuquerque, NM
Ages
12And Up
Services Available
Camps, Classes, Entertainment, Indoors, Parents Resources

Great Big World

Spending time immersed in nature helps produce happy, well-adjusted kids.

By Violet Snow

April 2010

I like to play indoors better ‘cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are—a fourth-grader in San Diego, quoted in Last Child in the Woods (Workman Publishing Company, 2005), in which journalist Richard Louv introduced the concept of “nature deficit disorder” in children.

Freewheeling outdoor play, from building stick shelters to cloudgazing, that was once common for children is much less available to today’s youth—and Louv says they’re missing something vital. He blames influences such as the loss of green space, an obsession with safety, educational pressures and the fascination of electronic media.

Numerous studies show that problems such as obesity, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve when kids are exposed to nature. Cornell University researchers found that children with ready access to nature handled stress more successfully (Environment and Behavior 5/03). Scientists at the University of Southern California found that children who had park space within 500 meters of home tended to be less overweight (Association of Research Libraries conference, 4/09).

One recent University of Illinois study, involving children with ADHD, may help explain why interaction with nature is so important for all youngsters. It is based on attention restoration theory. Most of the time we use directed attention, which lets us focus on tasks but also fatigues with use. Involuntary attention is spontaneous and does not require effort. Natural settings often contain elements that engage involuntary attention, which allows directed attention to rest and recover.

In this study, children with ADHD took guided walks for 20 minutes through three different settings: a park, a quiet downtown area and a residential neighborhood. The youngsters’ capacity for concentration was tested after every walk; they scored higher after walking in the park than after the other outings (Journal of Attention Disorders 8/08).

Nature’s regenerative effects can be observed in all children, but they often need encouragement. The second edition of Last Child in the Woods (2008) lists 100 suggestions for connecting kids and nature, such as buying a truckload of dirt to play in; going for a family walk when the moon is full; buying field guides to birds, trees and flowers; planting a butterfly garden; and studying animal tracking.

Andrea Taylor, PhD, one of the University of Illinois researchers, believes that these study results offer clear implications for public policy. “We have to make nature accessible,” she says. “It’s not enough to have a massive park six blocks away. There should be small pockets of natural area near the home.

Louv’s book sparked the creation of a Children and Nature Network ( www.childrenandnature.org ) to promote awareness and push for legislation. Such calls for action are starting to bear f...

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