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Help Stamp Out America’s “Nature Deficit Disorder”

June 27, 2008

Farmington Hills, MI – Recognizing that young people tuned into computers, TVs, and video games are tuned out of physical activity, organizers of this weekend's "Great American Backyard Campout" aim to encourage kids--and their parents--to go outside, discover nature and have fun.

Bryan Farmer, recreation supervisor with the City of Farmington Hills, says his municipal camping promotion is tied in with the campout push sponsored nationwide by the National Wildlife Federation.

"Children are sitting in front of computers, but need to get outside more. The backyard campout is a great activity to promote to families in our communities."

Farmer believes the effort will help families discover the joys of camping.

"We hope they just give it a try, at least in their backyards. If they like it, if things go well, they may continue to camp throughout the rest of the summer. That's the idea: to get people outdoors at least once, and then maybe they'll want to keep doing it."

Families without access to suitable backyards can pitch tents or lay out blankets in municipal parks, state parks and recreation areas, organizers say.

The National Wildlife Federation web site,, has information and tips for first-time campers--including campfire recipes--to make things go smoothly out under the stars.

Jim Mishler/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - MI