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Great Outdoors Colorado offers ‘100 Things to Do Before You’re 12’

Author: Joey Bunch - June 11, 2018 - Updated: June 12, 2018

Generation WildBillboard advertise Great Outdoors Colorado’s Generation Wild program aimed at getting kids out of the house and into their imaginations. (Photo courtesy of Great Outdoors Colorado)

Great Outdoors Colorado is encouraging kids to go “Wild” this summer.

Generation Wild is kicking off its second year. The four-year effort is aimed at motivating a generation of kids who are “over-scheduled, over-screened and over-protected.” The campaign on Tuesday is expected to unveil its “100 Things to Do Before You’re 12” for this summer.

You can view the list by clicking here.

The list of fun stuff to do outdoors in Colorado includes everything from burying a time capsule to burying a time capsule to summiting one of the state’s iconic Fourteeners.

“Generation Wild is more than a campaign – it’s a movement to change behaviors, attitudes and hopefully impact a generation of Colorado kids,” Chris Castilian, executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado, said in a statement.

“Studies continue to show that kids feel better and think better after some fresh air and outdoor play. By reminding adults about how kids see the outdoors, and how freeing it can be to run a bit wild, we hope to inspire everyone to get outdoors even more this summer.”

The campaign’s theme this year is “Kids grow better outside.”

The goal is to get them outside for some unstructured play more than the average of four to seven minutes each day. That means no TV, no smart phones or ear buds — just fresh air, the Colorado outdoors and their own imaginations.

The campaign thinks that not only makes kids healthier but happier, as well. They point to the fact that the state has the least obese adult population in the nation, yet youth obesity rates are rising.

GOCO did a study of the Generation Wild’s impact after the first year, and 55 percent of the parents surveyed said Generation Wild campaign made them more aware of the need to get kids out of the house. Forty percent said the program inspired the family to try new activities.

Moreover coalitions in 15 communities are working on barriers that get between kids and outdoor opportunities, including building places for recreation and local outdoors programs to steer local youth in that direction.

GOCO uses money from the Colorado Lottery proceeds on parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces, as well as providing grants and to local governments and land trusts that join in the cause. Created when voters approved the state lottery in 1992, GOCO has put more than $1 billion into more than 5,000 projects in all 64 counties, without asking for taxes.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.