Families Learn and Grow in the National Parks
Vice President Biden made news this week by visiting Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon with his daughter. Last year, President Obama brought his own family to these majestic national treasures. But you don't have to be a politician or a celebrity to enjoy "America's best idea," as Ken Burns dubbed the National Parks. Make a plan to spend time with your family in the great outdoors - be inspired, educated and motivated to protect our rich environment.
The last post encouraged you to engage in the world around you and find role models to inspire you. Here are two more tips to keep in mind:
Learn something new. The National Parks provide a unique and ideal environment for learning - whether it's about the geysers, hot springs, mudpots or fumaroles of Yellowstone, the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, the waterfalls and giant sequoias of Yosemite or the powerful landscape of the Grand Canyon. If you're more interested in the wildlife of the region, there are bald eagles, bison, bears, moose, elk, wolves to observe and study. The wildflowers and groves of trees can provide endless opportunities for education. Many national and state parks offer kids the chance to become Junior Rangers and you can follow up your visit by reading more about the history of the parks and the Native Americans who once roamed these lands.
Challenge yourself to take some risks. The parks present numerous opportunities to try activities that may be new to you - riding a mule on tenuous mountain paths, whitewater rafting down rapids, hiking up a rocky trail to a waterfall, camping out under the open skies, horseback riding through meadows. You'll find that the excitement of mastering a new skill carries over into a new sense of confidence in the rest of your life. And your children will love the new experiences.
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