Yosemite may be nice and all, but Tommy Nguyen of San Francisco would much prefer spending his day in front of a new video game or strolling around the mall with his buddies.No word yet from Al Gore on this one.
What, after all, is a 15-year-old supposed to do in what John Muir called "the grandest of all special temples of nature" without cell phone service?
"I'd rather be at the mall because you can enjoy yourself walking around looking at stuff as opposed to the woods," Nguyen said from the comfort of the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall.
In Yosemite and other parks, he said, furrowing his brow to emphasize the absurdly lopsided comparison, "the only thing you look at is the trees, grass and sky."
The notion of going on a hike, camping, fishing or backpacking is foreign to a growing number of young people in cities and suburbs around the nation, according to several polls and studies.
State and national parks, it seems, are good places for old folks to go, but the consensus among the younger set is that hiking boots aren't cool. Besides, images of nature can be downloaded these days.
It isn't just national forests and wilderness areas that young people are avoiding, according to the experts. Kids these days aren't digging holes, building tree houses, catching frogs or lizards, frolicking by the creek or even throwing dirt clods.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Posted by Steve Bartin at 7:44 AM