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Let Kids Run Wild in the Woods

What if everybody picked a flower? Maybe they’d care more about nature.
Taking home small souvenirs of the woods is just the beginning of things kids can’t do in nature. In many parks and other public lands, kids are told by rangers, parents, or teachers not to leave the trail, not to climb rocks or trees, not to whack trees with sticks, not to build forts or lean-tos, not to dig holes, not to move rocks from one place to another within the park, not to yell or even talk too loudly. Are we having fun yet?

There are exceptions to the “hands off” rules: Hunting, fishing, mushrooming, collecting firewood, and other activities on public lands are regulated but allowed. But not all families hunt or fish, and certainly for smaller children, these activities are unlikely to be undertaken alone.

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