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

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service: The Need for National Parks

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National Parks are a vital part of peace
and education for people everywhere. 
I believe the United States would be lost without our National Parks.  Places of natural beauty, storehouses of national knowledge are important treasure for people and families around the globe.  

As much as people need other people, they also need time to themselves, a place to go to find peace.  To stop.  To rest.  To listen within.  The beauty in nature helps people and families find solace. 

Now this is where the National Park Service can help.

National Parks and families go together like sunshine and blue skies.  Park ranger programs are the lifeblood of any stay in a National Park.  My family and I know this firsthand from our many adventures camping with kids.  I’ve addressed the importance of National Parks before on my Camping with Kids blog in the post entitled “National Parks and Families.”  I’ve also discussed the important issue of selling private land within national parks for commercial development in my post entitled “The Future Enjoyment of National Parks.”  

My family and I have learned from Park Rangers that National Parks are for discovery:  
We have found life within the emptiness of a desert, a diverse ecosystem, lichen upon rocks, the fragility of sand pavement. 
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Arches National Park
                the diversity of the desert
We’ve seen the ages of geology painted in the canyon walls of the west. 
We’ve wondered at the archaeology that uncovered artwork of an ancient people and learned about their culture.
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Mesa Verde National Park
                discovering the culture
               of the Ancient Ones
 
We’ve listened to volumes of history constructing the freedom needed to make our government great.

On our family camping trips to National Parks, we’ve discovered the excitement of watching the Milky Way pop out in a blackened night sky while reclining on a beach.  We smelled the heady fragrances of ponderosa pine in spring and wild rose in June.  We sought out shelter from the rain under the canopy of trees in a national forest, experienced the coolness of caves or crystal clear mountain water in summertime, and felt the moisture cling to our skin hiking up into the clouds on a mountain trail.

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The cooling mountain waters in
                 Yosemite National Park

The centuries of knowledge that the United States National Parks hold are not just for those who can visit the parks firsthand.  Not with today’s technology.  Teachers, schools, parents, and students around the world can discover facts and find lessons on history, science, art, geology, biology, archaeology, and much more on the National Park Service’s Find Your Park website.  Scroll down to "America’s Classrooms for Teachers" to find a treasure trove of resources for teachers. 
Choose a park.
Pick a program.
Receive lesson plans with a defined vocabulary list.
Find grade level distance learning programs [park ranger presentations] available.


National Parks are needed in today’s world not only for the beauty and solace they provide, but also for the knowledge they share with others.  Bravo, National Park Service.  Happy Birthday! 

21 comments:

  1. Fantastic post, Victoria. I visited the states back in...2001 - my time has flown since then - and visited a few National Parks. Such beauty must be preserved. Honestly, everything seems so big over there, in comparison to our tiny British island :) I remember sitting with a work colleague on a rock overlooking the Grand Canyon. We sat there for at least an hour, just trying to fit all of the beauty into our tiny eye scope. So awe inspiring. We also did a couple of hikes - I couldn't get out of it as we were with a party of kids :) Happy 100th Birthday!! Here's to another 100 years of unspoilt beauty. Thanks for the great post.

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    1. Hello and welcome to Camping with Kids, Nicola! Thank you so much for your kind words. And you are correct. There really are no words that can fully describe the beauty of National Parks. They do need to be treasured always. Thank you again for visiting Camping with Kids. Please stop by again.

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  2. I love visiting our parks. My kids have never been to Disney World, but they have hit many of our nation's parks. I always figured I'd rather they learn to enjoy the beauty of a sunset before spoiling them with all the trappings of commercialized beauty. And since we are a big family, we're always moving fast, so a chance to slow down and unwind is always greatly appreciated.

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    1. You are so right, Elizabeth! We are blessed here in the U.S. with numerous beautiful National Parks, and they are perfect to unwind in. I think it's so important to teach our children about nature and to understand its calming effect in the rush-rush of today's world. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Camping with Kids, Elizabeth. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Your information about "America’s Classrooms for Teachers" is great. I'm a Science teacher so this information will come in handy. Thanks again!

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    1. My pleasure, Michelle. So much can be learned from our National Parks. And now the knowledge can be shared in the classrooms. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Camping with Kids. All the best, my dear!

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  4. The importance of our parks is on the block and I hope your posts will help people to appreciate what we have

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    1. That's my whole purpose, Marie. People need to appreciate what they have and cherish it. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Camping with Kids. All the best, my dear!

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  5. I really enjoy reading your blog as the postings are so simple to read and follow. Outstanding. Please keep it up. Thanks.
    Adventure Gear

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    1. Hello and welcome to Camping with Kids, Edward. Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a lot. Please stop by Camping with Kids again.

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  6. Agree entirely with your comments on National Parks. We have 15 here in the UK, albeit not the size of yours in the USA. They are great places of natural beauty where commercial activities are very restricted.
    Bill
    http://www.walksintameside.co.uk

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  7. And that's how it should be, Bill. Leave commercialization at the gates. People need to unwind, get back to nature, free their minds of stress. What better way to do this than in nature. Thanks so much for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. All the best!

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  8. I haven't been to any national parks- but I have seen pictures and they look amazing. My best friend has visited many of them and her stories and pictures are wonderful. So important to keep this land set aside for people to enjoy nature and spend time outdoors.

    Great post!
    ~Jess

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  9. You could even say that it is vital to keep this land safe from development so that future families and visitors can enjoy National Parks. Thanks so much, Jess, for your kind words and for visiting Camping with Kids. It's greatly appreciated.

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  10. Happy birthday to the parks! It's wonderful all the things they have going on this summer. We've already to been to some Civil War fun at one park on Memorial Day weekend. I'm happy to live in the part of my state where I am surrounded by national parks.

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  11. You really are truly blessed, Christine. My family loves the National Parks. There is always so much to do at the parks regardless of their nature/purpose, i.e., historical or natural. Have you been to Gettysburg, Christine? We know they have some great reenactments there. Thanks so much for visiting my Camping with Kids blog and leaving a note. It's always appreciated.

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  12. I'm not much of an outdoors person, but there are some national parks that are on my bucket list to see!

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  13. Hello and welcome to Camping with Kids, Stephanie! You know, sometimes you don't need to be an outdoorsy person to love national parks. Sometimes it's just great to be able to breathe deeply and look around. All the best to you. Thanks for visiting Camping with Kids. Please stop by again!

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  14. Although the National Park Service was officially established in 1916, national parks existed before then. With the Act of March 1, 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming "as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people" and placed it "under exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior.

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  15. Hello and welcome to Camping with Kids, Fred! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with readers here at Camping with Kids. This is very helpful to everyone. Please stop by again. All the best to you, sir!

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  16. Which backpack is the most acceptable for college?
    Office backpack

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