The seminar tour by Saving Sailing author Nicholas Hayes is firing up for 2011, with events in Racine, Chicago, Arizona, Bermuda, and Oyster Bay (New York) on February 8th. (Here’s a link to the Oyster Bay event at the Waterfront Center: http://thewfcblog.blogspot.com/).
First stop, though, in January for Nick is at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Hamilton, Bermuda) on January 25. (Yes, writing the right good book can get you invited to nice scenic warm places in mid-winter.)
His influential book is part of a growing movement (Last Child in the Woods, etc.) to foster richer outdoor activities for all ages, including (but not limited to!) children.
As the New York Times just reported in a Jan. 2011 article, “The Movement to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum”:
For several years, studies and statistics have been mounting that suggest the culture of play in the United States is vanishing. Children spend far too much time in front of a screen, educators and parents lament — 7 hours 38 minutes a day on average, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation last year. And only one in five children live within walking distance (a half-mile) of a park or playground, according to a 2010 report by the federal Centers for Disease Control, making them even less inclined to frolic outdoors.
Behind the numbers is adult behavior as well as children’s: Parents furiously tapping on their BlackBerrys in the living room, too stressed by work demands to tolerate noisy games in the background. Weekends consumed by soccer, lacrosse and other sports leagues, all organized and directed by parents.
If you’ve read Saving Sailing, you know how brilliantly author Nicholas Hayes, avid sailor and social-trend researcher, makes a case for the benefits of lifelong, complex, multi-generational, less-structured freetime activities . . . like sailing.
By the way, he also shows how the barriers aren’t financial. Many cities have low-cost coop sailing clubs and other options (just finding friends who like to sail). The real barrier is time . . . and the choices we make in spending the discretionary time we do have.
You can keep track of seminar events featuring Nick – or contact him about scheduling a seminar for your sailing association – at his Saving Sailing website.
Or join the Saving Sailing Facebook page.