Kids Need The Outdoors

by Angelo Viola

These are exciting times at Fish’n Canada—we’ve finally launched our new and vastly improved website! It just dawned on me, if you’re reading this it means that you already know that. So let me just welcome you back to Fish’n Canada’s digital home.

For those of you who may be newbies here on this site, thanks for taking your first step into my world. My name is Angelo Viola of the Fish’n Canada Show fame. I’m the fishing dude that you inadvertently stumbled across on television early one Saturday morning as you navigated from Bear Paws to CTV Weekend Update. I’m that guy you may have seen at a gas station or grocery store or at a hockey game and said to yourself, “I know him, that’s… that’s… oh man, where do I know him from?” Well, that’s me!

You could say I’m one of the faces on Canadian Fishing’s Mount Rushmore. I’ve been quietly plying my craft as a TV fishing show personality for the past 35 years. Yes, that qualifies me as an old fart—but it also means I know my way around the outdoors. And that’s what I’d like to talk to you about. Actually, I’d like to talk about you and the outdoors.

The Fish’n Canada Show host Angelo Viola with grandson Nik in the 2013 episode, “Trips Are For Kids.”

As a kid growing up (no, this is not about walking to school uphill both ways), the outdoors was where I spent most of my waking hours. We ventured out first thing in the morning and, aside from five hours or so of school, the rest of my day was spent in green places. That’s approximately six to seven hours spent in the great outdoors every single day.

Recently, I was shocked to read a survey which showed that, on average, Canadian kids between the ages of eight and fifteen spend less than an hour per day outdoors while inmates at maximum security prisons in North America are guaranteed at least two hours of outside time per day. In case you think you read that wrong, that’s inmates—people whom we have incarcerated for committing a crime against society. Apparently today we are more concerned that a murderer, a rapist, or pedophile receives exposure to Mother Nature’s beneficial elements than we are about our own children.

Something is broken. Maybe it’s a millennial thing, maybe it was my group—the much-maligned baby boomers—that started it. But regardless of who’s at fault, it’s going to take all of us to figure this thing out and get it fixed. Our kids’ future may depend on it. Let’s use this site and this blog as our think-tank and connection to share ideas.

Let me be the first to throw in my two-cents’ worth: The way we’ve been going about this is all wrong. The internet is not going away anytime soon, so to ask our youth to leave it is ridiculous; they will not give up the incredible connectivity that they enjoy every day, nor should they. So, let’s not ask them to disconnect. Let’s ask them to connect—connect with the outdoors.

Please share your thoughts and suggestions with us.

Angelo Viola

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