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Mother Nature’s Child is a personal and professional educational goal of mine. The film reinforced ‘old’ objectives as a science educator to ‘get outside’ I am currently involved in the process of earning a degree with Project Nature Connect. Mother nature’s Child marries this projects to reconnect with nature.
My daughter and I caught Mother Nature’s Movie on PBS just before bath time. So much of what was said resonated with me very deeply. It’s true that many people who feel connected with nature as adults feel that way because of experiences they had when they were very young. I remember in kindergarten there was a tree at the playground with these big sturdy roots that went around the tree like steps on a staircase. As a five year old there was no question in my mind that the tree was my friend, in the same way that any of my other friends were. Obviously twenty years later I still remember the tree like it was yesterday.
Now that I have a daughter I see her doing the same thing. I definitely appreciated the reminder of the importance of nurturing and encouraging that natural curiosity. There’s no denying it. She’d rather open up the pods that fall from the monkey pod tree to see the seeds inside than play with some electronic toy any day. And I’m so glad.
‘ An important work for re educating people/parents to the value of healthy outdoor experiences. As a partime outdoor educator and advocate for Earth based programs, I applaud your efforts
to revisit the wonders of the natural world for us all!
A fresh and heartfelt journey.
I thought the film was beautiful! So much of it resonated with me–being outside on our own for hours at a time until mom called for dinner; creating forts and fantasy communities in the woods at the end of the street. A way of life that we took for granted has radically changed in such a short time. I loved the Kroka segment . . . I think it’s important for people to see that profound experiences in nature can happen at any age; it’s never too late to get your kids and yourself out there. All of the segments featured important mentors. . . I’m reminded of Rachel Carson’s words: “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” More reason for parents to get out there too.
The film left me feeling exhilarated; just watching the kids explore and challenge themselves. I feel lucky to live in Vermont where I’ve had so much opportunity to share the outdoors with my kids. I also came away with an almost panicky sense of urgency that people wake up to what is being lost. Guess that’s where the inspiration comes in; to keep doing my part to get the word out and help create opportunities for connecting kids with nature. Thank you so much for making this film!
The innumerable moving pieces in nature were my playthings as a child. This film brought into clear focus the immense value of unstructured summer days. High-level, critical thinking and spiritual/intuitive understanding of the connection of all life can be gained when children play outside. In addition to that, as I watched I vividly recalled the calm, rational, oriented feeling I could always reclaim when I climbed a tree or walked a trail, no matter how confusing and irrational my family life. This film rang true to me as a teacher, a mother, and a former child.
The program participants loved “Mother Nature’s Child”. There were tears and laughter during and applause at the end. I had an opportunity to visit with participants informally and many expressed how inspired they were by the film. I was contacted by a number of groups who were interested in using the film for training their staffs. We were particularly thrilled that the film included the hunting scene. Consumptive users of the resource have just as much love and respect for nature and, arguably, a better understanding of it.
Thanks for the positive message, so needed in a time when people are losing touch with many of the things that nurture our souls.
This extraordinary film should be required viewing for all expectant parents. Most impressive…you presented the full continuum of experiences from preschool through high school. Thank you, Camilla, for this inspiring and profound work.
This is a wonderful film that explains the need for nature connection. I work with adults trying to make the case for nature connection. This film provides me with powerful tool.
Absolutely loved it!!! All I can say is finally there were those (you and all the rest) who were able to put this on film (DVD) so that it can be watched and understood. As you know it is one thing just talking about it, but demonstrating and actually being able to document it with such vision and clarity will certainly aid the ability of others to recognize the significance of nature’s impact on us all.
Thank you for reaffirming what I lived through. I was one of those day dreamers in school also. Looking out the window at the farm adjoining the school grounds. Couldn’t wait to get all my work done so that I could spend time observing through whatever window was closest. The teachers finally moved me so that I could pay attention. After all of that can you believe I ended up teaching for 19 years? But I taught classes outside whenever I could. Dr. Howard Gardner, he wrote about how children learn (visually, kinetically, etc.), added naturalist to his list. I have been vindicated!
Wonderful work. Thank you!
“Wow, it was so right to show “Mother Nature’s Child” at our Greater Baltimore Children & Nature Conference at the opening plenary! We screened it even before the Keynote and I believe it set the tone for the whole day!! The 200 participants loved the film.” Mary Hardcastle, Parks & People Organization, Baltimore, MD
“This lovely documentary sets a standard in the field of child development, illuminating the vital and essential role of nature in the well-being and healthy growth of young people. Without this context, the modern challenges of a complex world leave our species handicapped and inadequately prepared, as so well expressed in this film.”
– Meredith Little, School of Lost Borders
Elizabeth, Thank you for your interest and good wishes for Mother Nature’s Child. Times are certainly changing quickly for our children and it’s wonderful to see people rally to support the health issues they suffer from lack of physical activity, fresh air, free time to explore and learn outside.
I haven’t been able to see the film yet, as I am in Georgia., but I was excited to learn about it since it is time this issue was addressed. I grew up in rural Maine and have always felt spiritually nourished by being in nature. We were outdoors all day except for meals, like most kids of my generation (born in the 1950s). We made up games and traveled all over our small town. I have always felt that disconnection from nature in urban life had to have negative effects, and I, too, have been concerned that nowadays, even in the country and suburbs, children rarely play outside. I wish you great success with this worthy project.
This film is a beautiful and moving illustration of the principles first espoused by Richard Louv’s book, “Last Child in the Woods”.
It’s an easy introduction to some crucially important principles that all parents, educators, administrators and policy makers should familiarize themselves with.
Very important work.
This film is so timely, addressing in a balanced way the larger questions of our children’s relationship to both the natural world and technology, to risk and fear, to reverence for life and death. And yet the film’s lyrical aesthetic and sense of humor carries us lightly within these deep mullings in a context that captures the essence of being in the natural world. The footage of kids of different ages: toddlers, middle school kids, older teens, speaks powerfully about the confidence and resilience that comes from being with risk in the natural world. A young eleven year old I watched this with, seeing the Kroka expedition, whispered to her Mom at the end of the film, “Can I go on that, Mom?”
On a practical note, I think it’s great that the film can be viewed in chapters of 10 min. segments and the accompanying study guide is thought-provoking and bound to engage many discussions! I hope many schools and teachers will engage parents and young adults on the possibilities of how we can grow with nature in a technological age. -Joey Corcoran, Mindful Rest Counseling & Former Elementary School Teacher
“Mother Nature’s Child is among the most hopeful films I’ve seen in years. Many are making the case that we and our kids need more time in nature, but if that were easy or validated by today’s American culture we all would have done it. To reconnect with the land and with one another might be medicine for what most ails our culture, but it’s also one of the hardest things to do today. Mother Nature’s Child is a beautiful, well-crafted act of storytelling that quietly and compellingly reveals exactly what’s possible when we and our kids find the ways to reconnect with nature, with one another, with the big ideas about what it means to be human. Watch this film; every parent and grandparent will be inspired; every kid will rethink their summer plans. I got ideas for how to help my own children engage more deeply in this world. I’m grateful to the creators of Mother Nature’s Child for challenging and guiding us and our kids toward deeper relationships with all that’s around us, and with each other.” -Peter Forbes, Co-founder and Co-director, Center for Whole Communities
“I just had a chance to look at “Mother Nature’s Child.” It’s just great! Inspiring, beautifully crafted, deeply meaningful, intelligent and thorough. Congratulations on an incredible achievement.” -Steve Kellert, Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
“In poetic words and images, and focused passion, ‘Mother Nature’s Child’ captures the essence of the challenge we face: the generational disconnect from the natural world and the great benefits that will come to our children, and ourselves, by giving the gift of nature.” — Richard Louv, author “Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle”
This film was fantastic! This was a well-organized, thoughtful, touching approach to a topic that is so much bigger and deeper than most people realize. I spend a good portion of my professional and personal life working to increase awareness on this issue, and hopefully ultimate change behaviors toward more outdoor time, and I was still moved to tears–they were hopeful, happy tears. Thank you for making a wonderful film that will resonate with a wide range of viewers from a wide range of backgrounds. I’ll now be sharing this film with as many people as I possibly can…
“Mother Nature’s Child is a fascinating and important film about a real and growing crisis in our country. It also thankfully suggests a solution to the problem which could be the salvation of our planet and posterity.” –Ken Burns
This is a very powerful film. I saw a screening with a group of about 35 people all of whom remained spellbound throughout. The film makes a very important point about how a child’s physical, mental, psychological and spiritual development can be negatively impacted by separation from the natural world.The connections are demonstrated powerfully -yet gently -through compelling interviews, beautiful photography and brilliant editing. As an example, I found it convincing, albeit alarming, to learn of the increased incidence of bullying in children who are disconnected from the natural world. I highly recommend this film to parents, educators and church groups and to anyone who has a concern about the fate of the generations to come.
I have been thinking a great deal about you and your film. I so admire what you have done. Your earlier films were wonderful and very moving –but you have surpassed yourself with Mother Nature’s Child. It is really excellent. I felt you combined head and heart really beautifully and this is part of why the film will be so effective in waking people up. The info from behavioral and psychological science is provocative and convincing, and the poignancy of a boy at his school window being required to give up his heart connection to nature is hard to ignore. These were high points for me, as well as the scenes of a little boy in free-form play with a tree, Willie’s awe-filled “What’s THAT?” reaction to a beaver tail slap on the nearby pond, and of course the nursery school kids learning to be at ease in the natural environment. WELL DONE!! And the accompanying study guide is a BRILLIANT part of the project, –a really excellent way to deal with a whole range of issues which will arise from viewing this film, and get people talking and engaging in the issues. Thank you from the bottom on my heart for this powerful and beautiful gift.
I was just amazed by the film, the quiet beauty, yet the strong call to action. Brought me to tears numerous times, which was a good thing! The compassion with which these sometimes touchy subjects was handled was also quite remarkable. An incredible achievement.
There are so many people, especially schools and parents, who need to see this film!
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