New Parents Join A Movement For Babies And Themselves: Hiking

Indian campaign connected 2 lakh families with nature
New parents are hiking with children to connect with nature
Shanti Hodges’ ‘Hike it Baby’ campaign aims to teach children to live in harmony with the flora and fauna present in nature

Nature travels between weather and climate according to its own set of rules. Human beings are also a part of this journey. This is the reason why we should respect nature. The damage caused by human development to the environment and the growing distance of children from nature has worried new parents. The solution to this concern is ‘Hike it Baby’ campaign. This is such a group of people roaming in forests, mountains and natural places who take children along with them so that they too can get acquainted with the different colors of nature. The campaign was started by 45-year-old Indian-origin Shanti Hodges. Today this group comprises more than 2 lakh families. Mason, the 6-year-old son of Shanti, a resident of Utah, USA, tells the name of any species of flora or fauna while hiking in the woods or mountains. His information astonishes even the elders. But Maison also understands the importance of the environment and is also aware of the resources given by nature. This is the special thing that makes this group different from other hiking groups. The ‘Hike It Baby’ campaign also started soon after Maison was born. Actually, Shanti was very much in love with hiking, but after becoming a mother, she was imprisoned till home due to responsibility.

…so that life goes on forever
Shanti tells that there were some groups of women in her town who liked to come out for adventure. But Shanti was looking for people who want to enjoy the journey, not the destination. An activity that goes on forever. For this, he started looking for passionate people like himself who had recently become parents. Gradually some women approached him and the number started increasing. Seeing this as a good opportunity, Shanti also involved the children in this so that they too can feel connected with nature. They named their group ‘Hike It Baby’. Today it has been more than six years since this exciting campaign. Today more than 2 lakh families are associated with this group across America.

Research says nature is important for children
Research also supports this peace effort. According to research, nature is very important for children. According to a recent research paper published in Health Place magazine, children who spend more time in nature show better self-esteem, dominant personality, flexibility in behavior and academic performance. Pediatrician Lawrence Rosen says that taking children outside the boundaries of TV, mobile and home helps in their overall development. A family that spends time in the midst of nature is happier and healthier. Not only this, according to Lawrence, children who spend the day listening to the chirping of birds among the trees and plants get good sleep. Colin O’Mara, director of the Virginia National Wildlife Federation, says that children ages 2 to 7 are more likely to have sleep problems when they are among wildlife, plants and nature.

what will we give to the children
Rosen says that children’s relationship with nature develops healthy habits in them. From birth, children tend to imitate their parents’ physical activity levels and mindset. If you take your kids away from the hustle and bustle of life by the side of a mountain, forest or river-waterfall, they will never be bored. Also, after growing up, they will pass on this healthy tradition to their children as well. It also has a lot of helpful benefits. As it helps children to develop and learn critical thinking. Also they have better ability in maths and science. Today kids are being trained like race horses just to win. His entire life seems scripted. Therefore, it is necessary that the creativity of children and the relationships that develop in nature should be encouraged as much as possible.







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