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Eco-Warrior camp aims to help teens reconnect with nature

Madison Bogisch

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, February 4, 2020  /  12:34 pm
Eco-Warrior camp aims to help teens reconnect with nature

Mount Gede Pangrango in Sukabumi, West Java (Shutterstock/DH Saragih)

Today's teens are living in a more digitalized world and curiosity for the outdoors might have been replaced by a multitude of gadgets.

Aiming to offer a solution, Bali educational service provider Odyssey Institute will hold an Eco-Warrior week, a series of camps offering adolescents the chance to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature.

Located on Mount Gede Pangrango National Park in Sukabumi, West Java, the five-day camp will encourage participants to explore the natural environment safely, something which is considered a rarity for children today, especially for those in urban areas.

“Young people these days spend a lot of time plugged in to their devices. The quality of information they are receiving is very low and it’s not stimulating,” said Ben Tamblyn, founder of Odyssey Institute, to The Jakarta Post.

A study published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS) in 2018 suggested children living in urban settings had shifted from outdoor, nature-based play to passive indoor activities.

“Kids go to the mall on the weekend and they don’t really have a lot of opportunities to connect with the natural environment,” Ben said.

Read also: Five glamping havens near Jakarta

A 2016 report found teenagers felt greater connectedness to nature after participation in a wilderness expedition. 

“The only way teenagers of today will care about the environment is if they experience it for themselves. If we do not care about the natural environment, we will not protect it,” Ben added.  

Eco-Warrior Week will allow participants of 13-15 years of age to partake in experiential learning, featuring a range of intercultural and environmental activities. This year’s program will focus on global citizenship, motivating students to move out of their comfort zones and develop their leadership and intercultural skills.   

“A global citizen is somebody who’s moved to a point where they can call the planet their home and humanity their family,” Ben said.

Odyssey Institute has worked with schools in Southeast Asia for 10 years, providing practical learning field trips for classrooms. Unlike their classroom program, Odyssey Institute’s Eco-Warrior Week is open to a broader range of children, whose families are able to make decisions without involvement from their schools. After noticing a gap in camp provision for the age group, Eco-Warrior week was established to allow young adolescents to have the same camp-based learning opportunities as their younger counterparts.

Odyssey Institute’s Eco-Warrior week camps will be held throughout the March and April school holidays. More information is available on its website. (wng)

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Madison Bogisch traveled to Indonesia under a program with ACICIS Study Indonesia.

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