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Kids in Colorado go WILD with launch of creative summer campaign

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 -- GOCO
June 12, 2018

Kids in Colorado go WILD with launch of creative summer campaign

Generation Wild focused on getting kids outdoors across state 

DENVER – Tuesday, June 12, 2018 – Inspiring kids across Colorado to once again put down their screens and get outdoors, Generation Wild kicks off its second year with a creative marketing campaign and activities across the state.

Because so many kids today are over-scheduled, over-screened and over-protected – and spending as little as 4-7 minutes outside each day – the Generation Wild campaign is a movement to change this dynamic by inspiring kids (and moms) to get outside more often, letting their imaginations and curiosity run wild.

Created and launched by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) last year, the Generation Wild campaign features “100 Things to Do Before You’re 12,” a vibrant compilation of activities from simple pleasures like burying a time capsule and making a mudpie, to more challenging adventures like riding a horse or hiking a 14er.

“Generation Wild is more than a campaign – it’s a movement to change behaviors, attitudes and hopefully impact a generation of Colorado kids,” said Chris Castilian, executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado. “Studies continue to show that kids feel better and think better after some fresh air and outdoor play. By reminding adults about how kids see the outdoors, and how freeing it can be to run a bit wild, we hope to inspire everyone to get outdoors even more this summer.”

“Kids grow better outside” is the theme of the Generation Wild campaign, and for good reason:

  • Kids are spending as little as 4-7 minutes outside each day in unstructured play.
  • Outdoor physical activity isn’t just a fun break from our digital devices and structured daily routines – it makes kids healthier and happier, from strengthening their immune systems, to improving cognitive abilities, to lowering stress.
  • Colorado boasts one of the nation’s healthiest adult populations, but the youth obesity rate is rapidly rising.

GOCO is working to address a growing concern that if Colorado kids don’t connect and engage with the outdoors, they will not be inspired to care for the great natural spaces that make this state such a special place. Generation Wild is the only effort of its kind in the United States.

A longitudinal study conducted after its first year indicates GOCO is moving the needle on behaviors and attitudes. 55 percent of the moms surveyed reported that the Generation Wild campaign inspired them to take their kids outdoors more often, and 40 percent reported the campaign encouraged them to do things outdoors they may not have done otherwise.

The integrated campaign has widespread support from community groups who are helping spread the word through grassroots efforts, as well as television spots, digital ads, and outdoor media, with a growing social media presence aimed at reaching parents, grandparents, and others in the lives of children throughout the year to share tips, ideas, inspiration and encouragement.

The Generation Wild campaign builds on an innovative, GOCO-funded initiative to connect youth and families with the outdoors across the state of Colorado. Collaborative coalitions are working in 15 communities (previously called Inspire Initiative communities and now called Generation Wild communities) to break down barriers to the outdoors and build new places for recreation, create outdoor programs to activate those sites, and create internships and job opportunities in the outdoor field.

To view the list of “100 Things to Do Before You’re 12” or for additional information, visit GenerationWild.com. Follow Generation Wild on Instagram and Facebook for tips and inspiration throughout the year.

Find Generation Wild video content here, or see the latest spot.


Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awaits competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,000 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.