REI Invites Children to Get Outside This Summer

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) invites children, adults and families to get active in the outdoors this summer with Kids’ Passport to Adventure. Designed for children ages five to 12, the national program encourages kids to participate in at least one outdoor recreational activity, such as cycling, hiking, camping, kayaking and more.

Beginning today through Labor Day, families can stop by any local REI store to register for the program and pick up a complimentary adventure journal to help guide them in their outdoor experiences. Chock-full with recreational-related games, information and stickers, the journal is a fun and engaging keepsake for children to use while experiencing the outdoors. After at least one activity, parents can send in a tear-off postcard from the journal to receive a certificate of completion and a special prize for their children – a multifunction whistle that includes a thermometer, magnifier and compass.

“A growing body of research shows that nature experiences can help children become healthier, happier and smarter,” said Richard Louv, REI member and author of the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. “In fact, all the gifts of nature that come to children – including stress reduction, longer attention span, better physical and mental health – also come to the good adult who introduces a child to nature.”

Adults can also visit REI.com for a list of kid-friendly hikes and bike rides in their local area, or to download and print a copy of the adventure journal. Recommended by local REI employees, with the support of FalconGuides in select cities, the information online includes, trail descriptions, distances, driving directions and tips.

“Today’s youth are tightly scheduled, leaving little time to play outside and experience the joys of nature and exploration. Another obstacle is that families often don’t know where to begin,” said Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO. “Kids’ Passport to Adventure helps remove barriers to families by providing tools to help inspire more children to get outside. Just one hike or bike ride can help them begin a lifelong appreciation of the outdoors.”

The concept for Kids’ Passport to Adventure was developed from a program created by an REI employee in Tacoma, Wash. in 2003 to help parents and their children discover the joys of the outdoors together. The program launched nationally in 2006. For additional information on REI’s Kids’ Passport to Adventure, visit www.rei.com/stores/kids_passport.jsp.

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