Show researchers a young hunter, and they'll show you a future environmentalist. The Cornell study found that children who hunt, fish or play in the wild before age 11 are more likely to grow up with deeper understanding and respect for nature.
Domestic outdoor activities like gardening also positively influence adult environmental attitudes and behaviors, but their effects aren't as strong.
When kids become truly engaged with the natural world at a young age, the experience is likely to stay with them in a powerful way, shaping their environmental path, Cornell researchers say. Interestingly, participating in scouting and other formalized outdoor education programs has no effect on adult attitudes toward the environment.
From the Great Falls Tribune
Great Falls, Montana Sept 06