Discover the Forest Family-Style

Discover the Forest Family-Style

I do enjoy a good hike in the Fall, but untangling myself from the Web and life in general makes this seem unlikely so much of the time. And it’s my own blasted fault.

How do we make outdoor adventure a priority in our children’s lives? The short answer is that it has to be a priority for us.

We’re the lucky ones. The mountains with miles and miles of hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, snowshoeing and skiing are just outside the door. Other people have to work much harder at ensuring that their children get a large slice of the great out-of-doors.

To invest so little and get so much in return seems doable, doesn’t it?

Especially since research has shown that children who play outside have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems and have greater respect for themselves and for others.

Discover, Discover the Forest

To help us along the pathway of family adventure, is the new US Forest Service initiative called, Discover the Forest. This website is chock-full of ideas, downloads, games, and other resources to help all of us learn about the ecosystem, conservation, and the beauty of our natural resources.

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Some of the interactive activities that caught my eye are:

  • The More to Explore section of the website where families can meet scientists from the Forest Service and engage in their latest research through the Natural Inquirer and Investigator. Read about them online or order free printed copies that are fun and easy for kids to understand.
  • I am also loving the downloadable file, The Book of Stuff to Do Outside! from the website. Create a Leaf or Bark Rubbing, Find Direction Without a Compass, and Listening to Nature were just a few of the many choices.
  • Other amazing resources include the Take a Virtual Hike Game and helping the kiddos become Junior Snow or Forest Rangers. I always wanted one of those badges for myself.
  • Or how about the ability to upload your family’s best photos of the forest to the Discover the Forest website?

So here’s the part where I make a stand for the forest, adventure, and my family.

Our commitment will be to make one Saturday a month, Outdoor Adventure Day! We will gather any of our children and grandchildren who are available and we will make those Wasatch Mountains our home for the day.

And we’ll start with the Scavenger Hunt from Discover the Forest.

I can’t wait to start discovering! How about you?

 



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Firecracker. That’s how my husband described me when we first met. I like to think that it was a compliment pertaining to my penchant for high-energy go-go. I am the token baby boomer in this group. The one who is stalling when it comes to elastic waistband pants and evenings in the recliner. This fearless desire to roam the earth started quite early, when as a toddler, my father would nail my bedroom door shut so that I wouldn’t head out in the wee morning hours going door-to-door in search of breakfast or a toy. True story. Today, our beautiful life consists of an empty-nested, second marriage, 10 children, 13 grandchildren, and a yen for travel and discovery. I ski. He golfs. And together we play tennis and work on creating memories and traditions that bind our collective hearts together. After years of shopping center marketing, ad agency ownership, and some social media giddy up for the education and medical esthetic industry, I’ve learned that I am most at home sharing my love for a good story and the next adventure.

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