npower has today unveiled research, showing that modern day youngsters are disconnected from the great outdoors, with many unable to build a camp fire (78%), put up a tent (79%) or even tie their shoe laces (45%). When asked if they cared about the environment, more than a third (37%) said no and, incredibly, half of those (52%) said that it’s because “in the future we’ll be able to live in space”.
The figures show that while young people are able to search for clips on YouTube (37%) they’d struggle to search for the local post office by reading a map (81%), and while they may be able to work a DVD player (67%), a huge 87% said they wouldn’t know how to repair a bicycle puncture.
The research indicates that today’s youths have lost their sense of adventure and lack skills which older generations take for granted. Nine out of ten youngsters (91%) are unable to recognise different types of butterfly and 43% cannot remember seeing the stars in the last month.
The lack of interest in the great outdoors is a worry for many parents, with more than seven in ten (77%) saying their child spends too much time watching TV or playing video games.
Survival expert and founder of Woodlore, Ray Mears, comments: “The latest figures are really shocking and I can’t believe our young people are so ill-equipped when it comes to practical skills.
“When I was growing up, I was told ‘You don’t need equipment, you need knowledge to survive in the wild’ and this is something that I truly believe. Simple skills like putting up a tent can teach you important lessons that can’t be learnt without doing them yourself. You learn how to work in a team and communicate with your peers; how to work under pressure and use logic and, most importantly, how to look after yourself and know your strengths.”
In response to these startling figures, npower will today announce the start of Climate Cops SOS, an educational programme which looks for Britain’s greenest young people by working with schools across the country. Working with survival expert Ray Mears, npower hopes to inject passion for the great outdoors back into the hearts of the nation’s youths. To enter the competition, they will have to devise and implement a group activity which celebrates adventure and encourages their fellow peers to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors. 100 winning students will be treated with a trip to the Lake District where they will have a survival master class with Ray himself.
To enter npower’s Climate Cops SOS, children must be aged 11 to 13. Entries should come through their school and they will need to show that they have devised and implemented a group activity, which celebrates adventure and encourages their peers to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors.
For more information visit www.npower.com/climatecopssos