OUT NOW: Your Future in Healthcare 2024!

    The Benefits of An Outdoor Summer Program for Teens

    Posted December 15, 2023, 10:00 am by TeenLife

    Summer is here! Maybe you’re ready for a change of pace, but after two weeks you’re bored of the same routine. So instead of a change of pace, maybe it’s time for a change of scenery?

    Step Into Nature For A Mental Reset

    Studies show that connecting or being near nature can improve your mental health. If you’re constantly in an urban or crowded environment, you can experience sensory overload without even realizing it. But step into the woods or take a walk by a river, and your brain will start to relax and receive boosts in creativity and problem solving. 

    Experts also believe that nature engages all of the senses, whether you’re aware of it or not. When you’re inside and reading a book or playing a video game, you are mentally-stimulated and your energy is driven in one direction. But if you’re outside, you can see, hear, smell, and touch your environment in a way that you can’t in a digital experience. 

    Be Part Of A Team Where It Really Matters

    Group projects are a fact of life in a school setting. Dividing up sections of a project or poster board can be painful because it feels forced. But being in a wilderness setting where your roles and responsibilities lead to real life benefits and consequences can be rewarding.

    Relying on a climbing partner or paddling together down rapids requires trust and commitment to a shared goal. Individual members of the group have the chance to let their skills shine and be appreciated. If you have a knack for organization or a good sense of direction, then taking on a role that showcases it will help you become a vital member of a team. 

    Nature Encourages Physical Wellness

    During the summer months, many students may find that their sleep patterns change. There is nothing to wake up early for, so you start to catch up on sleep but then also start to stay up later. Using screens late at night can worsen the issue, which means students are missing out on the most restorative hours for sleep (11:00 PM to 3:00 AM). 

    On the other hand, being in an environment with regular exposure to natural light can help regulate your sleep and wake cycles. It can even help you to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.

    According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, regular cardiovascular exercise can spark new growth of blood vessels which feed your brain. If running or hitting the gym is not for you, then what about an activity that offers exercise but doesn’t feel like it? Kayaking, hiking, or biking can be methods of transportation and recreation when you’re out in the wilderness.

    Regular physical activity can even increase the size of your hippocampus, the seat of memory and learning in the human brain. This could lead to improved memory and focus; ability to multitask, and overall elevated mood. 

    Changing Your Environment Can Change You

    Summer programs are a great way to reset and revive you for the upcoming academic year. But a “reset” can mean different things for different people. Some students may need a real strenuous academic challenge for a sense of accomplishment and a boost of confidence. Others may need a chance to explore a creative passion. Some may need to reconnect with the natural wonders around us. 

    If you are looking for an academic challenge while embracing the outdoors, then look for a summer program that takes the classroom outside. You can learn about marine biology, environmental conservation, veterinary science, and more with the right summer program. 

    Sign up for Free Tips and Guides direct to Your Inbox


    For more information on this and other great programs for high school students, go to www.teenlife.com.