WCS-010: Cheryl Charles intends to Leave No Child Inside

Cheryl CharlesCheryl Charles explains why it is so important for children to explore the outdoors. She shares her practical advice for building community and more.

About Cheryl Charles:

Dr. Cheryl Charles is an innovator, entrepreneur, educator, and author with a life-long commitment to the importance of getting children into the outdoors—for their health, success and happiness. Cheryl is Co-Founder, President and CEO Emerita of the Children and Nature Network (C&NN). Her organization has inspired campaigns throughout the world to “Leave No Child Inside”. Cheryl served during a 17-year period as founding National Director of what remain the two most widely used environment education programs in North America for K-12 educators receiving numerous awards for her leadership. In addition, Cheryl is Co-Founder and Principal of Hawksong Associates, a consulting firm specializing in leadership, organizational development and diffusion of innovation.

Personal Mantra:

“There are many ways of knowing in the circle we call life.” ~John Denver

This quote from a song reminds Cheryl to convey respect to all other humans and life.

One of her greatest challenges:

The greatest challenge Cheryl faces in her work is overcoming the state of disconnect from nature in modern society driven by fears, over-planning, and excessive screen time.

When she knows the work she is doing is making a difference:

Cheryl’s years of experience over decades has allowed her to see a shift in consciousness and tangible changes in the education system.

Practical Advice:

Pick things to work on that you care deeply about because if you don’t love it, then it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Then create a sense of community.

Personal Practice That Keeps her Going on the Tough Days

Cheryl spends time outdoors to recharge and recenter herself.

Best strategies for funding:

“It’s all about relationships.” Hear how Cheryl makes the connections that she needs to minimize the degrees of separation between her and the people she needs to reach.

Recommended books and films:

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Wild Play by David Sobel

Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Cornel

John Muir

Mary Catherine Bayson

The Metaphoric Mind by Cheryl’s late husband, Bob Sample

Tools or Technology:

Cheryl recommends the use of social media for creating dialog and connection via Twitter and Facebook.

Nomination for Upcoming World Changer Sessions Guest:

Rue Mapp – Founder of Outdoor Afro

How to get in touch:


The Children & Nature Network

HawkSong Associates

Email:  Cheryl@childrenandnature.org