W.I.L.D. (Wilderness Immersion for Leadership & Discovery) believes that immersion in nature is an important part of our development, especially during our early, formative years when it is so critical to discover who we are, develop strong self-esteem, begin to adopt leadership skills, challenge our physical well-being and acquire the capacity to live a balance life in a world dominated by technology.
Unfortunately many of today’s youth are immersed in a totally different reality. Living in front of the computer, the television omnipresent and socially connected via smartphones, they spend little time in nature and rarely disconnect from technology. If their lives exist on the “screen” now, it’s unrealistic to think they will have the desire to connect with the natural world as they mature. Yet, humans have always been connected with nature; 99.9% of our evolution comes from living in natural environments and our psychological underpinning is still entrenched in many ways with nature.
Knowing the importance of today’s youth in shaping the future, W.I.L.D.‘s initial effort is targeted on giving youth, especially under-privileged teens, the opportunity to experience first-hand the positive impact nature can have on their lives through wilderness immersion camps. This immersion is a powerful first step that can help trigger a desire to explore and discover the natural world and to begin to understand how experiencing the beauty and ultimate challenges inherent in nature can lead to enhancing their self-confidence and help them develop valuable leadership skills.
Quoting Fox: “When we go on weekend trips or week long trips, we all bring our lifestyle and habits with us. Which is normal. It takes about 2 weeks for a person to shed away these habits and start embracing the new environment. Immersion of more than 2 weeks allows a total disconnect. It is like learning a new language, the language of our natural world. And while it is possible to do it in small doses, there is nothing like total absorption in a new environment in order to properly learn about it, and how we are all indelibly connected to it, and it to us.”