Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Love Letter to Nature

Dear Nature,

    I should have written you this letter for Valentine's Day but I don't believe in this Hallmark holiday. Rather, I believe in showing you my love as often as I can through my stewardship and showing you off to as many kids as I can take into your sanctuary.
    I didn't know you as a kid. My daddy loved you but I couldn't get past your many bugs and my fear of your snakes. So I didn't get to experience you like so many other children did in the 70 and 80s. They came home from school and ran free in the fields near the school or built forts in the woods behind the town water tank.
     I discovered you through the eyes of my students: watching their carefree minds and bodies explore and question you, seeing their smiles of happiness, witnessing their burgeoning relationship with you because they have discovered you are not that scary after all and observing their self-esteem rise even if for but a short period of time. Through their eyes, I discovered your inspiration to learn that you offer endless possibilities to explore your sanctuary.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why Hike as a Family?

Graves Mill Trail, SNP
AT to Annapolis Rocks

These are my top five reasons why all families should hike:

  1. Hiking allows families to spend quality time together away from the responsibilities and distractions of home. Nature provides a relaxed environment where families can share meaningful conversations.
  2. Hiking enables parents to play and be carefree with their children on the trail, allowing kids to see a sillier and relaxed side of their mom and dad.
  3. Hiking in nature instilles curiosity and creativity in children and provides many teachable moments. Creativity leads to the development and implementation of ideas that help children navigate the world, locally and globally.
  4. Hiking is healthy. A combination of hiking and being in nature provides physical, mental and emotional benefits for parents and children.
  5. Hiking is low cost and easily accessible. It's simple; put on a pair of shoes and head to the nearest trail, usually in a local park.