Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Instilling Awe for Nature
Re: Instilling Awe for Nature
Sat, 14 Aug 1999 11:52:57 -0500
> Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 10:58:45 -0600
> From: Jim Peterson <kupete@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
> Subject: Instilling Awe for Nature
> I've been reading the thread posted here with the subject line of
> "Dilemma....Backpacking" and it kinda struck a chord in me that has been
> vibrating for some time now.....like a few years.
> Maybe it's just me (and if it is, I'll just go crawl in a hole and come
> out later) but I get a very emotional response from just standing in the
> middle of the woods....or looking at a tree-lined prairie acreage....or
> looking down a mountain valley. I mean an almost overwhelming feeling
> of...well, I guess it's "awe". Now certainly, one can relate it to
> religion....you know, "God's creation" or some thought process like that,
> but whatever it is in the brain that triggers this "awe of nature" has me
> puzzled. Did I come by this naturally? Did my early scouting
> instill this? If so, how?
No, it's not just you, I too become speechless and teary eyed at
a beautiful sunset. I too sometimes feel that kids nowdays will
never figure it out. Are kids today missing an Awe for Nature?
Well, maybe as bad as you think. I cannot say that I really
apprecitated anything in the outdoors until after I was out of college.
We are fighting an uphill battle in nature appreciation. There is no
doubt (in my opinion) that "couch potatoes" are more prevelant
than 15 years ago. And, WE were not as tough as our parents
were. Society and the media are constantly reminding youth how
"dangerous" the world is (Lyme disease, bear attacks, etc).
Sometimes I think that, lawyers waving the YPP flag; and video
games like Nintendio and Sega are contributing to the generation
of youth that cannot appreciate ANYTNING! My kids are afraid
of everyting and have to be coaxed out of the air-conditioning.
BUT, are kids of today missing an Awe for Nature? I doubt it.
When I was a scout, we had kids that pealed the bark off of
trees because they just felt like doing it.
Did my early scouting experiences instill this? ABSOLUTELY!!!
How? I don't really know...
Instilling appreciation usually comes from doing without.
People who never had money usually develop a respect for it. I
am not sure how you instill appreciation. You can lead a horse to
water, but, you can't make him drink. Just keep trying.
Mark Wilbur - Allogagaw (He who serves)
"Used to be an OWL NC-513 (312-35-1984), Always be an Eagle (1973)"
Scoutmaster (since 1986) Troop 374 St. Louis, Mo.