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The Importance of Outdoor Play

The Importance of Outdoor Play

Take a look at the children of today and the activities they most commonly engage in and you’ll find gaming systems, cell phones, tablets, and laptops at the forefront of nearly every child’s ammunition for engaging in their leisure time. Children of today are growing up with technology right at their finger tips. Ask any parent and they’re sure to agree their kids usually know more about technology than they do! Technology is a fascinating innovation in the way our world operates and is incredibly important to utilize and understand, after all, you couldn’t be reading this right now without it! What happens when we don’t structure our kids time spent with technology though? What happens when all of our time is spent indoors looking at a screen? Our kid’s today spend their time in drastically different ways than we spent ours at their age.

We’ve lost site of the incredible benefits we gain spending time outdoors. It’s important our children learn to use technology, but it’s equally important, if not more beneficial to their growth and development to #optoutside. Take a look at just a few of the benefits gained from spending time outdoors.

  • Physical Fitness Benefits

Throughout life we develop habits based on the activities we most frequently engage in. If we spend our afternoons as kids watching cartoons and playing computer games, we are likely to continue that habit. Likewise, if we take time to get outside and play as kids, we are likely to remain active into our adult lives. Children who engage in regular outdoor activities are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and continue their physical activity level as they grow older.

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  • Social Development Benefits

Spending time at parks and playgrounds provide spaces for kids to learn and grow together. As they interact, they build social skills both by playing and by observing their peers. This allows our children to strengthen their language skills, learn to overcome challenges, and build healthy relationships.

  • Mental Health Benefits

Life is becoming more busy each day. It’s not just adults that experience this! When’s the last time you took a look at the homework your kids are bringing home? Each year kids are being given larger and more complex work loads. As the world continues to grow and expand, our children are tasked with learning all of this new information along with the information we were taught at their age. Kids are busier than ever before, and along with that busy schedule, we are seeing all time highs in cases of anxiety, stress, and depression. Spending time outdoors allows our children to expend energy and alleviate stress. This in turn, helps them to concentrate better and have better overall mental health.

  • Intellectual Health Benefits

Playing outside stimulates us intellectually and is proven to have a positive impact on our readiness to take in new information and excel our performance. Spending time outdoors can help children learn better in the classroom by stimulating their creativity, allowing them to view learning materials in a variety of ways. It also increases our ability to focus, which helps us more easily absorb information and process new concepts.

  • Appreciation for the Outdoors

Take a look at the news or hop online and it doesn’t take long to notice the impact we have on our planet. As population continues to grow and we consume more and more resources each year it’s becoming ever more apparent that we must take steps to protect the world around us. Spending time in the outdoors as a kid sets our children up to have a lifelong love of nature and an appreciation for conservation. Studies show that children who spend time in the outdoors are more likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviors like recycling and water conservation!

We have a whole Summer Camp dedicated to connecting fun loving kids to the outdoors! Check out Camp Adventure and Camp Extreme and schedule your campers for a week they’ll never forget!

For more information on the importance of outdoor play

Ready To Get Your Kids Outdoors?

Kyle Werner 0 Comments

Take Back Your Summer with the Adventure of a Lifetime

Take Back Your Summer with the Adventure of a Lifetime

As a kid, summer is the best time of the year! A long break from school, beautiful weather, and an opportunity for a world of fun and excitement. As a kid I remember riding my bike around with friends for hours on end, showing up at friend’s houses and pulling them outside to join in the fun. I remember spending hours outside each day playing games with friends, finding new adventures, and spending a few weeks at a camp where I had the opportunity to meet new people, explore my interests, and learn valuable life skills to take with me as I continued to mature. For many of you, the memories of summer as a kid may be very similar! Current and future generations of kids have a much different outlook on summer however.

Technology has advanced dramatically since our days of riding bikes, playing games, and participating in activity based summer adventures. Summers now promise hours of movies, scrolling through social media, and playing fortnite (or other video games… but lets get real, it’s fortnite). Left to their own devices, kids now days will magnetize to their technology for the entirety of the summer! I can’t blame them, technology is pretty incredible, but it’s stealing summer away from these kids and robbing them of those opportunities for growth that many of us remember so fondly from our childhood!

A little technology is a great thing. Our kids today are more knowledgable and better connected than we ever were as kids. The downside is that in turn, they are missing out on opportunities to build essential life skills that are fundamental in our development into adulthood. The good news is, just as technology has been advancing and drawing our kids attention, summer camps have also been advancing and are better than ever before. Introducing Camp Adventure and Camp Extreme at Historic Banning Mills!

At Camp Adventure and Camp Extreme your child has the opportunity to connect to the outdoors, learn about nature, make new friends, explore their interests, and discover new and exciting adventures at the largest aerial adventure park in the world! Here’s just a few reasons your camper will benefit from a summer of adventure:

Connects Kids to the Outdoors

At our summer camps, kids spend their days in the outdoors participating in a wide array of activities including: zip lining, rock climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, free falling, swimming, archery, and much much more.

The days spent at camp adventure introduce your child to the outdoors in unique and engaging ways. They’ll get up close and personal with nature as they explore Banning Mills and be introduced to the outdoors like never before. This gives kids a better connection to the impact we have on our planet and allows them to have fun and grow in a natural setting.

Boosts Self Confidence

Our guides and camp staff at Historic Banning Mills are group facilitators and team building professionals. They are fantastic at mentoring and coaching campers to step outside their comfort zone and push their boundaries. We recognize that everyone has different strengths, abilities, agilities, and fears and work with each camper through each activity to push that envelop and try new things. The result is limitless opportunities for growth and a significant boost to your child’s self confidence.

One of the biggest opportunities for this is our Power Free Fall. It’s a 100 foot free fall jump that takes participants from 100 feet up our adventure tower directly to the ground, and its a camp favorite! Some of the activities we do at camp, like the free fall, are inherently scary to some campers, but pushing through that fear and trying a new activity boosts self confidence and shows our campers the benefits of pushing their boundaries in a safe and controlled environment.

Gets Kids “Unplugged”

It’s easy for all of us to spend way more time on our cell phone or using technology than we even realize we are. For kids this is even more prevalent. Outdoor camps like Camp Adventure and Camp Extreme provide an opportunity to unplugged from technology and connect with people in the real world. This is extremely important at a young age and allows campers to make connection, build conversation skills, and have fun!

Exposure to Different Types of Adventure

Up until about five and a half years ago, I had no idea a career in the outdoor adventure and tourism industry was even something to consider. Exposure is they key ingredient in opening new doors. For kids, exposure to new opportunities is what primes their brains for determining their interests and driving the path to their future. Our camps provide a long list of activities and opportunities designed to teach, excite, entertain, and inspire our campers. School field trips are designed in a similar way. Exposure to unique career paths and interests spark curiosity and excitement for a child’s future learning opportunities.

Learning to Work with Others

Many of the activities at camp are designed to encourage campers to work together to succeed in each activity. As campers make their way through our aerial challenge course or encourage each other on our climbing walls, they learn fundamentals of working together to accomplish a goal and pushing each other to succeed. These life skills can be carried with them back to school in the fall and far into their futures.

Learn More About Camp Adventure and Camp Extreme

Kyle Werner 0 Comments

Short Getaways Can Be Better For Your Health

Short Vacation Getaways Have Tremendous Health Benefits

We all know that feeling. You just spent months working hard to save up money and vacation days to spend on the family vacation of your dreams. Nothing’s going to get you down as you build up anticipation for your trip and enjoy a beautiful vacation full of relaxation and stress free time away from the office. There’s just one problem. Upon returning to work you find after a week or two, you’re ready for another vacation and are quickly burnt our once more! Weekend trips are great but they can’t possibly deliver the same level of rest and escape as a long vacation.


Studies show that may not be correct! In fact, Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, PhD, says that “people’s psychology can be divided into an experiencing self and a remembering self”. Your experiencing self enjoys the vacation and becomes relaxed and rejuvenated during your time away from work, while the remembering self carries that feeling of rejuvenation back home with you after your trip. Unfortunately, this positive effect can only last so long, and eventually you’ll find yourself burnt out once more and craving that next escape from the repetition of daily life. Does this sound familiar?


According to Psychology Today, “Vacations no matter the length only keep us invigorated for a few days to a few weeks after the trip. By taking shorter and more frequent vacations we can maximize the time spent feeling rejuvenated by travel and getaways”. This means you can live happier, feel more rejuvenated more often, and spend less money than you would on a long vacation.


Applying this method of taking short term getaways from work can be just as beneficial as long vacations but are able to occur much more frequently! As your post vacation excitement begins to waver you’ll find new excitement for the upcoming trip!


If you’re ready to begin planning your next short term vacation, check out our Adventure Lodging Packages and visit us at Historic Banning Mills for a fun filled weekend that’s sure to leave you reenergized, rejuvenated, and ready for your next adventure!

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Why We Use A Continuous Belay System!

A brief look at the benefits of using a continuous belay system and visiting a zip line course dedicated to the safety of its guests!

Looking For A Quick Day Trip?

Check out our incredible Zip Line Canopy Tours at the largest zip line course in the entire world! With 11 miles of zip lines and canopy adventures to explore, Historic Banning Mills is the ultimate outdoor adventure resort! Banning Mills was the first zip line canopy tour in North American and are the industry leading specialists in zip line and aerial adventure parks! Take a zip line tour with us and experience unmatched safety and family friendly fun!