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In today's busy world, we tend to spend an awful lot of time indoors. Often, we are staring at the screens of our computers, televisions, and phones. Our attention is so absorbed we barely notice what's happening around us, much less what's happening outside. We get caught up in our deadlines, appointments, practices, projects, our endless lists of things to do and places to be. Our kids, too, are busy juggling school with a multitude of extracurricular activities. In the hectic pace of our lives, we don't take enough time to slow down and connect to the beauty of nature, and because of that, we're missing out on some pretty amazing things.

Physiologically, getting out into the sunshine helps our bodies in many ways. We are wonderfully designed so that simply being outside in sunlight allows us to generate natural Vitamin D. Vitamin D is vitally important to overall good health, strong bones and a healthy immune system. Sunlight also helps boost the release of serotonin in our brains. Serotonin is a hormone that makes us feel happy, calm and relaxed. In addition, studies have shown that being out in nature can lower heart rate, decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and lower blood pressure. In short, being outside helps to reduce our overall stress.

The outdoors benefits us intellectually, as well. Away from screens and traffic and noise, we become better able to focus and remember things. Fewer distractions allow us to clear our minds of clutter. Children diagnosed with ADHD have shown a significant improvement in concentration after taking just a 20-minute walk in a park. Another study suggests that being out in nature and away from the rush of busy life can boost creative thinking and problem-solving. Nature can help us push reset on our overloaded brains.

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There is also a spiritual reward to be found in nature. God did not create a house for Adam and Eve to live in, but instead gave them a garden! Romans 1:20 reminds us that we can begin to see God's attributes, power, and nature through what He has made. Connecting to our Creator through the works of His hand can be life-changing. Sometimes when we slow down, still our minds, and simply acknowledge the amazing beauty of nature, we can better focus on hearing God's voice.  

At Heartland Camps, there are many activities to get both children and adults outside, whether it's on a hike, a horseback ride or a walk through the creek. Young children, youth groups, families, and even grandparents can come to camp to reconnect with nature while building their relationship with Jesus Christ. Our Christ-centered atmosphere promotes opportunities to explore, develop and share faith through Bible studies, activities and worship. Immerse yourself in all the benefits of the great outdoors! Come join us at camp! 

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