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Great Outdoors Colorado launches “Generation Wild” campaign to get kids outside more often

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 -- GOCO
May 22, 2017

DENVER — Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) will show Coloradans that “Kids grow better outside” with the launch today of its multi-year “Generation Wild” campaign.

The integrated, statewide effort aims to address the issue of kids spending too little time in unstructured, outdoor play—as few as 4-7 minutes per day—and reconnect kids with nature. It features television spots, digital ads and outdoor media, and promises exciting surprises to inspire kids (and their parents) to get outside, letting their imaginations and curiosity run wild.

“For GOCO, Generation Wild is a mission-driven movement, tightly connected to the work of our organization and countless partners across the state of Colorado. We see an opportunity to transform how often an entire generation of Colorado kids gets outside,” Great Outdoors Colorado Executive Director Chris Castilian said. “Together we can reduce barriers to outdoor experiences and make getting Colorado kids outside a priority.”

Campaign content offers parents and their children inspiration for getting outdoors with easy-to-do tips and tricks. Ads and collateral feature “100 things to do before you’re 12,” a list of activities like rolling down a hill or making a mud pie, and more involved adventures like riding a horse or hiking a 14er.

“Many of today’s kids are over-scheduled, over-screened, and over-protected, and we’re going to show how easy it is to get outside and have fun. Letting kids explore the outdoors doesn’t have to be time-consuming or costly. It starts in the backyard,” said Castilian.

Seven 15-second videos have been produced for the campaign’s initial phase under the creative direction of Sukle Advertising. Each of the spots relies on a different creative medium to stand out and distinguish the numerous ways “Kids grow better outside.”

View the “Grow” video.

Creative materials for the campaign are dual-language to reach both English and Spanish speakers. 

Generation Wild has garnered widespread support from dozens of community groups, youth-and outdoors-focused nonprofits, arts and cultural organizations, and private sector businesses, which are helping spread the word about Generation Wild.

Lists of “100 things to do before you’re 12” will be distributed statewide by Colorado State Libraries, and more than 40 Boys and Girls Clubs of Colorado sites will introduce kids to the program this summer. The lists will also be available at nine Colorado state parks through a partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Denver Parks and Recreation will distribute copies at its recreation centers.

Getting kids to spend more time outdoors is important and beneficial for numerous reasons, including:

  • American kids, on average, spend less than 10 minutes outside in unstructured play, which is half as much time as their parents did;
  • Outdoor physical activity is not just fun, it offers many health benefits, including strengthening the immune system, improving cognitive abilities and lowering stress. It makes kids healthier and happier;
  • Colorado may boast the nation’s healthiest adult population, but its youth obesity rate is rising rapidly.

The Generation Wild campaign builds on the work of GOCO’s $25 million Inspire Initiative, which aims to connect youth and their families with the outdoors through the work of collaborative coalitions working in communities across Colorado.

“Coloradans need to know about easy and close-to-home opportunities to connect to outdoor resources because it improves their lives,” said Jackie Miller, GOCO’s director of youth initiatives. “We know that when people experience the outdoors they begin to appreciate the outdoors, which has long-term implications for our state.”

To view the list of “100 things to do before you’re 12,” or for additional information, visit GenerationWild.com. Follow Generation Wild on Instagram and Facebook for tips and inspiration.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,900 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.