I wanted to let you know that our new 2011 catalog is now in the mail and you should be receiving it soon. We are very excited about several new programs we will be offering in conjunction with our inspiring outdoor adventures that have served countless young people over the past four decades.
I am also writing you concerning a bill which was introduced into congress last week addressing the issue of getting more kids into the outdoors. Much has been written about the crisis of an entire generation being consumed by computers, phones and electronics. A recent study has found that the average child now spends 7 hours and 38 minutes a day watching T.V. and playing video games and except for a sprinkling of sports has largely given up on exploring and enjoying the outdoors.
Over the past seven years I have been honored to serve on the national board of directors of America Outdoors Association. This organization is composed of over 500 small outfitting companies which provide whitewater rafting, horse packing, wilderness, climbing and a host of other outdoor experiences to the general public. I have been actively lobbying in congress and have met with numerous National Park Service and United States Forest Service personnel in Washington about the crisis engulfing our young people. Just recently, I was asked by America Outdoors to serve on a panel before over twenty National Park Service Superintendents. During this panel discussion I stressed the need for our parks and forests to relax many of the bureaucratic restrictions which prevent or make it difficult for both non-profit and for profit organizations to bring young people on federal lands. I am very encouraged by HR 6426 and feel that there will be a widely accepted bipartisan effort to help us solve this problem. I would encourage you to contact your representatives in congress about passing this or similar legislation.
As parents, you are to be commended because you value and understand the importance of getting your children, at least temporally, away from T.V.s, computers, phones and electronics. There is so much we can teach our children about themselves and life in the out of doors.
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving,