National Get Outdoors Day

May 14, 2012, 11:39 am

By Heather Crowley

When the weather starts getting warm, it’s time to get outside and find solace in nature. With the kids off for the summer, get ready for quality family bonding time. Saturday, June 9, 2012 marks the fourth annual National Get Outdoors Day. The goal for this year’s day focuses on tapping into those who receive little exposure to the outdoors, targeting first-timers and undeserved urban areas to experience the wonders of the wild!

With the widespread availability of television, computers and tablets, getting kids outside is more important than ever. According to studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that more than one third of children and adolescents are either overweight or obese. Getting kids outdoors helps lower stress, maintain a healthy weight and builds immunity.

Some of my best childhood memories involve exploring in the creek, climbing trees and playing baseball in my backyard. Whether you are reconnecting with the outdoors, introducing a friend or child for the first time or getting in your weekly fix, be sure to work GO Day into your plans.

This year, there are 66 official GO locations across the country. Find a GO site closest to you. If there isn’t a site close by, there is still time to nominate one and get your community involved in this event!

GO Day events will encourage an active lifestyle and will offer information centers and “active fun” areas, which offer opportunities to explore new, fun activities. Kids can use a fishing pole, go geocaching, help pitch a tent and more. The sites will provide photo opportunities for your kids' favorite outdoor mascots like Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl and others.

Many sites will feature information about of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition. Once you participate in GO Day events, you and your family will be invited to follow-up activities throughout the summer to keep your love for the outdoors going. Events can include an intro to mountain biking and fly-fishing, ranger hikes, kayaking and rafting and more. Be sure not to miss out on events and discounts by heading over to nationalgetoutdoorsday.org or check them out on Facebook and share with your friends!