Outdoor Family Activities That’ll Put You In Touch With Mother Nature This Summer
April 06, 2016
Dutchmen’s green travel tips to celebrate our National Parks
This summer, our National Park Service turns 100! In celebration of this centennial milestone, Dutchmen has put together these green travel tips, reminding you to love Mother Nature a little more, embrace our parks with outdoor family activities and set up camp in a place where the world slows down for a little while.
First things first …
INSPIRE A SUMMER OF OUTDOOR FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Need some camping inspiration? This summer, make it a goal to explore new destinations. The National Park Service’s 405 park sites include 59 headliner parks, national seashores, national monuments and other designations. And don’t forget to check out some of the new national monuments President Obama designated or expanded during his time in office. If you need some inspiration, check out the National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary page. Here are some ideas to get you going:
- For park inspiration, head to an iMAX theatre. Yep, you read that right. Narrated by Robert Redford, The National Park Service has put together a “National Parks Adventure” documentary that Fox News says, “Captures the dazzling beauty of our National Parks … a rip-roaring, heart-pounding, soulful road trip.” Here’s the trailer.
- Use the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” website for camping inspiration. And remember, a park can be many different things to many different people. Here’s a video to see what we’re talking about.
- Get creative with your planning. Families, download the Centennial Junior Ranger Activity book for on-the-road inspiration (and learning). Collect the U.S. Postal Service’s 16 new Centennial Forever stamps … then plot your course using the stamp locations to drive your sense of adventure. Or even better — get involved. The National Parks Service program has a number of ways to volunteer your time as you camp in our parks.
GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE WITH THESE OUTDOOR CAMPING GAMES
Sometimes, adventure can be found in the simplest of family activities. These outdoor camping games will inspire little campers to appreciate Mother Earth (and our National Parks) a little more.
- Go on the great color hunt: Watch your little camper(s) discover the amazing variety of color that Mother Nature has to offer. All you need is paper, pencils and crayons. Head out a short hike and search for as many of nature’s colors as you can find. Help your little explorers jot down their findings. When you get back to your campsite, pull out the crayons, letting everyone’s inner artist shine as they recreate the colors of nature.
- Head out on a scavenger hunt: If you have a big group of older kids, break them up into teams of two, giving each team two bags — one for trash and one for recycling. Send them off on a scavenger hunt to seek out left-behind trash. Upon their return, hand out prizes for things like the most trash collected, the weirdest thing found, the grossest piece of garbage and the most recyclable items. Not only does this activity help beautify our environment, it teach kids about camping without leaving a trace.
- Take a listening walk: We don’t often listen to Mother Nature, but she has a lot to say. You can take a silent hike and instruct everyone to speak only when identifying a new sound. This approach works for kids with a competitive streak. You’ll be surprised how much even the youngest kids take away from this exercise. The Listening Book is a great accompaniment to this activity. Read it before your walk or as part of your camping bedtime ritual.
GREEN TRAVEL TIPS FOR GROWNUPS
Even grownups, every now and then, need some friendly green travel tips — after all, we would love nothing more than to know our future generations can look forward to another National Park Service Centennial celebration down the road.
- Dutchmen’s green travel trailers: When shopping for an RV, think about the footprint you’d like to leave behind. Dutchmen offers a number of green RVs in this family-friendly camping lineup, especially green travel trailers. Our expandable trailers create a more a more nimble package for easier towing. The Aerolite Zero Gravity Series is an especially lightweight travel trailer, while the Dutchmen Kodiak is towable by even SUVs, crossover and minivans.
- Speaking of 100 years: Our Coleman lineup is also a favorite green travel trailer — after all, who doesn’t want to camp with the name that has been outfitting people’s passion for the Great Outdoors since 1900. If anyone can talk about Centennial anniversaries, it’s Dutchmen’s Coleman trailer.
- Shop for sustainable features: When shopping for a green RV, be on the hunt for RVs that have aerodynamic front caps that help reduce drag when towing. Remember, LED lighting is more energy efficient. Not only does it take less energy to run your lights, but also these lights keep your RV cooler — perfect for summer days.
- While camping, think green: Whether you’re treading lightly in a Dutchmen Kodiak or traveling in luxury in a Denali fifth wheel, you have tons of storage options to keep recycling tucked away. Our favorite spot for recycling is in the pass-through storage space. There’s so much room, we can never fill the entire space. Another green travel guide tip — load up on water after arriving at your destination.
So now that you’re feeling inspired to explore our parks, have some family fun and travel a little more lightly, we hope the National Park Service birthday celebrations can get underway!