Thank you so much Ryan for another amazing and informative photo essay. These are easily one of my favorite article types on BPL. Your time and effort are very much appreciated.
As far as kids in the Wild are concerned, I have a few comments.
I am 25 years old, and I do often feel somewhat disconnected from other people around my age when it comes to wanting to spend time outside. Whether it be hiking, biking, running, boating, or even going to the park for a picnic, the interest just isn't there. That's not to say I don't know quite a few people who do enjoy those things, but even here in Colorado I find them few and far between. So I love seeing pics of these young people truly enjoying the natural world.
But I feel that sometimes we tend to over-dramatize the situation. I think that wanting to seek civilized comforts and instant gratification is not a new development in human nature. It has just become easier to attain these days. All throughout history people have flocked to cities for refuge from all the discomforts of life (although creating a myriad of other problems, i.e. obesity, depression, blah blah blah).
I grew up devouring things like video games, watching TV for countless hours, logging something like 200 days played in World of Warcraft (yes, seriously, over 5000 hours or probably way way more), and eating delicious snack cakes until I ballooned to over 200 pounds (I'm 5'8", so that's a lot). In high school and college I abused alcohol and drugs. I can confidently say that I was a prime example of the decayed and decadent version of America's youth.
But I have bounced back, and it was by my choice. My brother, sister, and I are all dedicated distance runners, enjoy hiking and backpacking, and being Outside in general. I don't know if its just in our DNA, but we all feel a powerful urge to exercise and explore. And this comes not out of family unity, but individually. We are all separated by fairly large age gaps (I am the oldest) and have spent the last few years of our lives living in different cities.
So my point is that some people are just hard wired differently. The vast majority of humanity is content with living unremarkable lives and being catered to without feeling the need to work to earn anything of value, explaining societies currently decaying state. And some are naturally inclined in the other direction. We can't alter human nature, and we can't force evolution; it has to happen naturally. All we can do is support and encourage each other and hopefully everyone else will take the hint.