The Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region is embarking on an ambitious mission to recruit 60 mentors, affectionately known as “Bigs,” within 60 days! Their goal is to recruit 60 Bigs between July 18 and September 15, 2023. You can become a Big and share your love of the outdoors and nature with a young person, known as “Littles.” The organization says there are currently 200 young people between the ages of 5 and 18 waiting to be matched with an adult mentor.
As part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you can help a child discover the joys of the outdoors. You may remember a time when children could spend their free time exploring nature, playing at parks, and riding their bikes with friends. However, today’s generation may not have the same opportunities for such experiences. The pandemic restricted children’s activities to their homes, resulting in alarming consequences such as increased screen time, childhood obesity, attention difficulties, heightened anxiety and depression rates, and insufficient vitamin D levels. Bigs help change children’s lives in so many positive ways, including getting them outdoors.
Is Too Much Screen Time a Cause for Concern?
In a word, yes! Excessive screen time can lead to decreased sleep, which is crucial for children’s and teenagers’ healthy development. Recognizing these concerns, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a dedicated nonprofit organization committed to addressing such challenges. Encouraging increased outdoor activities, diverse experiences, and physical engagement facilitates optimal growth and development in young minds. Simple activities like playing catch or going for a walk not only assist young people in processing information but can also enhance their problem-solving abilities.
How Can Your Time Transform a Little’s Life?
Even a modest commitment of a few hours each month can profoundly impact a child’s life. As a Big, you have the power to effect meaningful change. Spending time with a Little outdoors can significantly contribute to a child’s development, emotional well-being, and overall health. Littles who engage in regular physical activities exhibit increased focus, better classroom engagement, and improved mental well-being compared to their peers who do not have regular access to outdoor environments.
According to a survey conducted among participants in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program:
- 90% reported feeling healthier and happier when immersed in nature.
- 79% expressed a boost in self-confidence.
- 77% noted enhanced social interactions with their peers.
Benefits Of Outdoor Time for Mentors
Engaging in outdoor activities with children not only benefits the Littles but also provides advantages for mentors themselves. Participating in playtime is a source of relaxation, reducing stress levels and increasing serotonin production. Mentors can also enjoy physical exercise, absorb vital vitamin D, and share the joy and wonder of outdoor adventures with Littles, who may not have otherwise experienced them.
Experiencing the Outdoors in Las Cruces
Outdoor activities with your Little can be as simple as visiting one of the numerous parks or natural areas in Las Cruces. Play a game of catch, ride bicycles, explore hiking trails, or have a picnic together. You can incorporate the enjoyable activities you already do in outdoors, but now with the companionship of a Little. Introducing a Little to these activities can open up a whole new world for those Littles.
Las Cruces has miles of urban trails that are great for walking, jogging, or biking. The athletic complex on Hadley Avenue features several ball fields where you can watch a softball or baseball game or just let your Little enjoy the playground. Nearby soccer fields also provide an opportunity for outdoor fun. For nature-loving Littles, try a hike and some birdwatching at Dripping Springs Natural Area or Aguirre Spring Recreation Area.
Become a Big to a Little Today
Join Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region today and positively impact a child’s life while enjoying the great outdoors. You can create unforgettable memories and contribute to our community’s healthy development of young minds.
For more information and to see how you can become a Big to a Little, click here.
Posted by LasCruces.com