You may have already started noticing the sound of happy songbirds outside your bedroom window as you wake to the morning light. You will now! Take their lovely tweets as an invitation. And please… resist your urge to pull up Twitter after reading that. Get up and get dressed – dress accordingly. You will be doing some outdoor exploring today. You should prepare yourself a backpack for the day. Sunscreen, check! Bug spray, check! Water bottle, check! Some other mentionables include a compass, a map, sunglasses, a hat, a healthy high energy snack. The list goes on according to what you decide to bring for yourself. Do you have kids? A family? A friend? Grab them too!
Now that your family unit is on board, it is time to decide where you will venture to. You can find Nebraska State Park and Recreation Areas near you by clicking here: https://maps.outdoornebraska.gov/parksearch/ . Each area icon will show you a link for more information, which is where you can download a park map under the Primitive Camping section.
Perhaps you want a more hands on approach to getting outside. Nebraska Game and Parks hosts a variety of outdoor education workshops as well as outdoor education expos around the state. This great variety of outdoor activities can be found on Nebraska Game and Parks’ calendar: http://calendar.outdoornebraska.gov/
Check your weekend schedule because this Friday is Take Aim at Summer at Platte River State Park. That’s right! This Friday, May 27th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm will be a day to remember. Your family will get experience target archery, hatchet throwing, Dutch oven cooking, just to mention a few of the available activities.
You see, time spent outdoors is essential! By allowing yourself the pleasure of putting down the electronics and stepping outside, you are working wonders for your body and mind. That warmth you feel on your skin as you walk outside is your body soaking up the sun rays and making vitamin D. That same sunshine boosts levels of your body’s natural happy hormone called serotonin. With that cool physiology on your side, your family’s day outdoors will be off to a great start! Come on’ trade those cooped up, dust bunnies under your sofa in for some cute, real life cottontail rabbits frolicking outside. Get those kids out to breathe some fresh air and in the meantime, your whole family will discover their appreciation for the natural world.
Allie Claypool, Outdoor Education Assistant