Outdoor Fun This Summer
With the passing of spring and the imminent arrival of summer and much warmer weather, many people begin heading for the outdoors. I, myself, love to be outdoors for many reasons. I love to camp, hike, fish, play sports, BBQ, or just hang out with my family. 4-H'ers are not exceptions to this phenomenon, and for good reason. 4-H offers a multitude of activities, events, and projects where being outdoors is fundamental (emphasis on the FUN!). An even greater benefit of 4-H is that it is rarely a solo activity for a youth. Their parents, and usually their entire family, are also involved in whatever activity or project the kids choose. It truly is an organization for the entire family.
Many upcoming 4-H events feature outdoor activities. These include Fantastic 4-H Camp (age 9 – 12), Wild Clover Camp (for younger 4-Hers, age 7 – 9), and the Johnson County Fair. And while registration periods for camp and showing 4-H projects in the fair have passed, I still hope every Johnson County resident comes to check out the 4-H exhibits that have been entered, and everything else fair has to offer (don’t forget to visit the 4-H food stand to quiet your growling stomach).
Even if a 4-H'er isn’t planning on going to camp or showing in the fair, now is the perfect time to head outside to work on a current project or discover a new one. Many people don’t realize that 4-H offers projects in
- environmental science,
- sport fishing (which has a state-wide contest!) and more.
These are great reasons to head outside and explore. Not to mention the added benefit of physical activity and exercise. (The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people aged 6 – 17 years participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.1)
Johnson County has a lot of opportunity and ways to discover the outdoors and bond with your friends and family. So put on some sunscreen and bug spray. Grab your fishing poles, camera, or butterfly nets and chase the perfect fish, photo, or bug. Check out your local nature trail or park. Pick out a new project that takes you outside. Whatever you do, spend more time outdoors. You won’t regret it.
1.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2008.