The Last Grownup in the Woods is a project born when I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time caught a frog or built a fort. I love frogs, and I spend a lot of my life outside. How had it gotten to be so long? I grew up, that’s what. TLGW is a playing, learning, exploring, catching, prodding, laughing ad slightly ridiculous video project conceived by a person who knows nothing about film, and only slightly more about being a grownup.
The Last Grownup in the Woods was named in honour of Richard Louv’s The Last Child in the Woods. Louv laments on how children are not spending enough time outside an the negative effect it is having on them and the world around them. He coined the term “nature deficit disorder,” which is a term I rather like. Unfortunately, children are not the only people affected my nature deficit disorder. That’s right, grownups have it too.
Grownups can be very funny about the outdoors. Many of us try to get outside, but often we forget to enjoy it. We go for a walk to stay fit, or go for a hike to get to the top of the mountain (and take a selfie). We don’t stop to check under logs for salamanders, or watch a banana slug slide across the forest floor. We may have backyards with trees, but have never even considered climbing one, or using the trunk as a wall for a secret fort.
Maybe it’s how we were raised; most people raising children today grew up playing video games and watching TV. But really, I think it’s because we have forgotten. Nature has become scary. That fear is what’s preventing us and our children from playing outside. We want to keep them safe, obviously, and we want them to respect nature, so when they come for a walk, they can’t touch, or prod, climb, or step off the path. No wonder they prefer Minecraft.
The Last Grownup in the Woods is my attempt to close the gap between humans and nature. I want to document everything on the path to connecting nature, from my own apartment balcony, to amazing global adventures and incredible innovations. More selfishly, it is my own attempt to bring back that sense of wonder I experienced exploring the woods as a child.
If you haven’t read any of Richard Louv’s books, take a moment to watch this 12 minute video.