Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Future Enjoyment of National Parks

The climb to Balcony House, Mesa Verde
National Parks are the needed peace in a busy world.  The National Parks System brings education and family togetherness as well as providing recreation for all.  I know my family and I would be lost without them.    
I recently read a blog entry entitled WhoShould Be Allowed to Purchase Privately Owned Lands in National Parks? about private individuals living inside National Park boundaries wishing to sell their properties.  This is an issue worth talking about. 

Of course, any private property does belong to those individuals and they have rights here in the United States of America.  They have a right to receive an accurate offer of the land’s value from the government.  They have a right to sell their home/land to another private individual.  However, I believe commercialization of the land should be avoided at all costs.  Perhaps a clause could be introduced to prohibit further commercialization of land within the National Park boundaries. 
The reason why these lands are so precious is because in their beauty they provide an escape from the rush-rush of life.  What do you think?      

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

National Parks and Families

Granny apple doll making
Peaks of Otter, Virginia
My family has enjoyed visiting National Parks in the United States and Canada for years…and years.  Each National Park offers ranger-led programs for visitors on a daily basis in the summertime.  Programs continue throughout the year; however, they are more limited due to attendance numbers at the parks.  You can pick up a schedule as you enter the park or stop by the visitors’ center to speak with a ranger. 

From granny apple doll making at Peaks of Otter in Virginia to climbing the vertical ladders at Mesa Verde, Colorado, from trekking through the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington to learning about dinosaurs at the Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado, our family has enjoyed the adventures which the park rangers have provided. 

When visiting a National Park, ask about the JuniorRanger Program.  This is a nationwide program where children 4 or 5 years of age to about 12 years can learn about the duties and responsibilities of a park ranger as well as learn about the park itself.  The children become junior scientists, geologists, historians, or naturalists by following age-appropriate tasks outlined in a free booklet available at each specific park.  They receive badges and certificates upon accomplishment. 

My children have become junior meteorologists forecasting the weather with a park ranger on the top of Rocky Mountain National Park using a handheld barometer to measure atmospheric pressure and a psychrometer to measure the humidity.  It seemed that every day we were at Rocky Mountain National Park, it would thunderstorm at about 3 p.m. and we needed to be below the tree line.    

I would like to thank all park rangers everywhere for their tireless service in educating the public about geology, history, culture, and biology to name but a few subjects.  Besides, it’s fun for the whole family!