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Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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‘Be Outside’ Pledges in WY Aim for Outdoor Fun Every Week

PHOTO: The Be Out There campaign from the National Wildlife Federation is encouraging parents to pledge to help their kids spend more time outdoors in 2013.
PHOTO: The Be Out There campaign from the National Wildlife Federation is encouraging parents to pledge to help their kids spend more time outdoors in 2013.
December 31, 2012

CASPER, Wyo. - "Spending more time with family" is a top New Year's resolution, and the Be Out There campaign from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is designed to help parents keep that resolution. The program offers tips and advice to parents who pledge to help get their kids outdoors every week, while acknowledging it isn't always easy - even in a state like Wyoming with plenty of outdoor play space.

NWF Be Out There manager Lindsay Legendre says their survey of parents found that 94 percent say kids aren't getting enough time outside. The biggest barriers are weather, concerns about safety and the lure of technology. Knowing this, she says, the campaign offers strategies to deal with these concerns on its website.

"We really love geo-caching, because you can use a smart phone or GPS technology to do an activity outside. It kind of meshes those two worlds."

Legendre says the parents they've talked with recognize the benefits of outdoor time, such as increased physical activity and better concentration in the classroom. However, she agrees that technology has benefits, too.

"Really encourage balance. Tell kids if they want to play video games for an hour, that's great, and then they can take the next hour and go burn some energy off outside."

She says they want to make it easier for parents to guide children to more outdoor time, especially since reduced school recesses and busy schedules have eaten into outdoor play time.

www.BeOutThere.org offers lists for winter treasure hunts, tips on weather-proofing outdoor adventures, and directories to nearby play areas.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY