Pipestone National Monument
August 29, 2014 – 6:52 am | No Comment

While passing through the Southwest corner of Minnesota earlier this summer, an unmistakable brown and white sign reserved for national monuments popped into view: Pipestone National Monument
Located in the town of Pipestone, Pipestone National Monument …

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Home » Day Tripping

Nature Rocks — Get outside already!

Submitted by on June 7, 2009 – 7:29 pm3 Comments

Nature RocksI was just telling my daughter that mothers used to say, “Get outside and don’t come back until I call you for dinner.” Kids were supposed to entertain themselves (who has heard of this??) and not get in life-threatening danger, all on their own. They ran around, played outside, and didn’t get fat watching TV while eating junk food. Wow, what a concept.

Apparently, that concept is making a comeback. I’ve talked to three families who are doing a “technology free summer”, which hardly totally free from technology, has resulted in less drama, more play and more kid-like behavior. We’ve been on vacation for almost a week and the TV has never been on. I wish I could say it was because we made a plan for it, but it’s really been the exhaustion after stumbling back to the room. Everyone is too tired to care about it.

And, organizations like REI, ecoAmerica, The Nature Conservancy and Children & Nature Network couldn’t agree more. They organized a campaign called “Nature Rocks” that aims to get families outside this summer. EcoSalon has a great post about it here. Find out more about Nature Rocks here. Use their site to find activities, places to visit and ways to connect. Pretty sad that we need all that, but at least someone’s working to change it.

This summer, I decided to delete summer camp and planned activities. Instead, we’ll go on three major family vacations. We’re meeting extended family on two of them, and our daughter will either like it or lump it. I’m taking the iPod for emergencies, but my goal is to work on her reading while we drive, and work on her love of the outdoors by actually showing her some. We’re dusting off the vintage camper and heading out. So far, I think I’m a lot more excited than anyone else in the family, but we’ll see how they feel after Yellowstone and a couple of weeks in the surrounding states. We’re spending time in Wyoming, where I grew up, and visiting where my father grew up. And, we’re getting outside. I’ll let you know how it goes.


  • Lorraine says:

    I love this post and couldn’t agree more. I attended a seminar from the Children & Nature Network last year and my poor kids were outside so much that next week that they thought I went nuts ;) My sentiments were similar to yours – why did I have to be reminded to get the kids outside? Life has changed, but the basics haven’t. Thanks for the reminders and the resources!

  • Sheri says:

    Thank you so much, Lorraine! We really took this to heart this summer. I felt pretty mean telling my daughter to “leave the trailer and go see the trees” so many times, but in the end I think we all had a great time. We talked about so much stuff that I think we’d never have even thought about, I really have become an evangalist for spending time with your kids in the outdoors! So, it’s great to know there’s another mom who has kids that think she’s nuts! LOL

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