Photo Courtesy of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail 

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What is Canoe for the Kids?

Canoe for the Kids is an awareness and fundraising expedition being organized by Ben and Liam Malakoff. My brother and I will  canoe 350 miles through Maine along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) to help raise awareness of the issues surrounding Nature Deficit Disorder by raising $10,000 for the Northern Forest Explorers; a program founded and run by the NFCT to connect youth in rural communities to the natural wonders practically in their backyards. This money will allow 30 kids the opportunity to spend two weeks canoeing and camping along the NFCT during the summer of 2013, giving them an experience they will never forget while educating them on the importance of our natural environments.

Please join us in helping reach our goal by pledging here. Individuals who pledge a total of $35 or more will receive a FREE one year membership to the NFCT! In addition, we are working on securing matching donations from generous businesses. 

What is Nature Deficit Disorder?

Nature Deficit Disorder is the term used to describe a variety of symptoms seen in many youth today that may stem from not spending enough time outdoors in natural settings. Irrational parental fears, diminishing natural areas, and the prevalence of electronic entertainment have all helped drastically reduce the amount of time our youth are spending outdoors. According to Richard Louve, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, children who aren’t exposed to natural environments may be more likely to develop behavioral and learning problems such as ADD/ADHD, and may also be more likely to be obese. While Nature Deficit Disorder has negative effects on our youth, it also has negative effects for the environment. Children who don’t spend time in nature become disconnected from the natural  environment and may not feel the need to protect it. Thankfully, there is a simple cure for this disorder--encourage kids to spend more time outside by offering them affordable and appealing opportunities to do so. 


What is the Northern Forest Canoe Trail's Northern Forest Explorers program and how does it help?

The Northern Forest Explorers was founded by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail--a non-profit organization which manages, promotes, and maintains a 740-mile water trail that begins in Old Forge, NY and ends in Fort Kent, ME. Northern Forest Explorers connects kids in rural areas to the amazing natural resources that are practically in their backyards by offering highly subsidized canoe-camping trips along the NFCT. These trips have profound impacts on the children who participate in them. Not only does it offer a fun and affordable opportunity for kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in something like this, it also helps foster a positive attitude towards outdoor recreation and shows them the importance of protecting our environment. Please click here for more information on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the Northern Forest Explorers program.