We were so lucky to interview Alisa Geiser, Creative Director and Producer of the Born Wild series. She shared with us what her film series is about, what inspired her to make this series, some actionable advice about raising children in the wilderness, and why it is so important to instill a love of nature in young children.
Q: What is your film series about?
The Born Wild series is about raising kids to value wilderness and wildness. In Wild Child we'll learn the nuts & bolts of making outdoor adventure a family affair on an epic PNW road trip with three moms and their young'uns; Wild Inheritance follows a three-generation-deep family of eighteen into the Wyoming backcountry to see why wilderness is the greatest legacy you can pass on; and Wild City explores how to raise nature-savvy kids in urban environments.
Q: What inspired you to make this film?
The initial inspiration for the series came when our director, Aly Nicklas, met the stars of our first film, Wild Child, at a Havasupai Instagram meet-up. She was instantly taken by these awesome adventure mamas and the way that they were inspiring and empowering a growing community of parents thorough social media. The project grew rapidly as it became clear that there was a real demand and need for inspiration and information about getting kids outside.
Q: I love that you mention that the film has actionable advice about raising children in the wilderness. Can you give us a tip for the novice outdoorsman or woman who wants to start getting their children outside more?
"If somebody is feeling stuck and feeling kinda intimidated about where to start, I think the best way is to just go. To make little goals that are attainable and find easy trails and not big mileage and just keep on making those goals and keep on moving forward. Before you know it, you’re on top of a big mountain." -- Brooke Froelich, Wild Child
Q: Why do you feel it is more important than ever to get children in nature?
It's disturbing to think that today the average American youth spends only five minutes a day playing outside. What is this doing to their cognitive, emotional, physical, even intellectual development? Our childhood obesity rates have more than doubled in the past 20 years, and we're the largest consumers of ADHD medications in the world. Climate change and sustainable development are ongoing issues -- how can we expect our children to grow up wanting to protect the incredible wild places of this earth, the mountain glaciers, the hanging lakes, the cloud forests . . . if we don't allow them the opportunity to fall in love with these places? Kids need to taste wild blueberries growing from granite bedrock; they need to feel dwarfed in the shadows of towering redwoods; feel the electric thrill of standing near a roaring river. No screen, no matter how big, no matter how good the sound system, can replicate these experiences.
Of course, Born Wild isn't just about taking kids on epic adventures to threatened wilderness areas. It's about opening their eyes to nature, and nature is everywhere. There is wilderness in a city park: dandelions blooming, robins making nests, worms processing dead grass into fertile soil. There is wildness within: did you know that ourDNA differs from that of chimps and bonobos by just 1.6 %? Humans are awesome animals, and we've got hands that can swing us from monkey bars and imaginations that can turn a cardboard box into an airplane, and our backyard into the
Himalaya mountains or the Sahara desert. If they are going to be wise stewards this earth, kids need to understand that they are part of nature, not separate from it.
They need to know that chicken comes from a bird, not a plastic package. That dirt isn't just something that needs to be scrubbed from between their toes: it nurtures all plants we eat. There is a lifetime of lessons to be learned from nature, and classroom is always open.
Q: How can readers learn more about your project or be part of your community?