The “Great” Outdoors Could Be Called The “Healing” Outdoors
Posted 06/18/2010 by David Henry, Chaplain at the Childhelp Alice C. Tyler Village in Virginia
Being on a 270 acre farm allows certain opportunities in the care we give to the children at the Childhelp Alice C Tyler Village in Virginia. Each child has the chance to be outside playing, exploring and just experiencing the world in a physical form every single day. Of course that involves lots of contact with dirt. The children make it, dig in it, plant things in it, learn about it, hunt things in it and often, it seems, get covered in it. The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ says that exposure to a certain amount of dirt during your early life makes you a healthier person as you age. That may be true. One thing is certain. The children at the Village always have smiles on their faces as they help spread the shredded paper on the compost pile. They always seem excited when they discover a worm in the garden. Most of the children want to try the cherry tomatoes that they grow in the soil. And as one girl said it quite eloquently some children like to just ‘get down and dirty.’ The Village is an ideal environment for all these things to happen. This is just another example of how the unique environment of a Childhelp Village helps hurting children begin to heal.
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