Fostering Lifetime-Long Outdoor Memories

By Jessica Bogue, Naturalist Intern – July 16, 2014Jessica-archery

If one were to ask you about your favorite childhood memories, do you know how you would respond? Perhaps your most precious memories lie within the folds of a family vacation or a class field trip. Others may find their memories entangled with siblings or best friends. Or maybe a favorite pet or toy.

If one were to ask me, I would not need to ponder long before radiating a surplus of memories, all of which are close to my heart. There is a unique commonality to all my favorite childhood memories. Whether it was racing my siblings on horseback through our alfalfa field, walking with a friend down the gravel road to go fishing at the creek or tagging along with Grandpa on turkey hunts, each and every one of these cherished memories took place outside.

The Outdoor Campus - Caught a fishI want to be able to give children the same opportunity so they can create their own memories. And there’s no better place to start than The Outdoor Campus. Here learning, exploring and discovering are entwined in the outdoors. The laughter that can be heard from a wide-eyed child as they reel in their “river monster” of a fish from the pond is enough for anyone to plainly see that here—in the outdoors—is where many favorite childhood memories are fostered. I’m continually amazed by the excitement and joy that is brought forth when a child lifts a rock to discover a creepy, crawly bug underneath.

I hope every child has the opportunity to create memories in the outdoors that will last a lifetime. The Outdoor Campus provides that opportunity – promoting outdoor learning, advocate preservation of South Dakota’s great outdoors and ensuring the continual creation of children’s favorite memories.
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