On June 21st I got a text from my friend Sarah that her niece had participated in a National Park Junior Ranger program while on vacation. Sarah sent me some pictures of the “swearing-in” and of a smiling five-year-old sporting her new Jr. Ranger badge. Her niece looked pretty happy and this made me pretty happy as well. She told me that this was inspired by Summer and that made it extra special to me. At the time, Summer was in hospice and she was getting more and more distant. As much as I loved this news… We had a lot going on. If I shared it all, it was in my “insta story” at most. I feel this is definitely worth sharing!
When we were on our cross-country road trip in June… we were stopping and collecting Ranger badges at a furious pace. It was not a normal leisurely adventure to be sure. Halfway into the trip, Nate said to me “You guys learn stuff on vacation”. At first, I thought it was an insult. As if to say “This is not fun”. But he clarified and said he was having fun, but it was just “different” that what he was used to on his family vacations.
I share this today as a reminder of something that Summer loved so much. It’s the end of the Summer season and a lot of kids are going back to school soon, if not already. If you find yourself near a National Historic location or a National Park. Ask the ranger for the Jr. Ranger booklet. Learn something about the “why” that makes that place special. You don’t know everything… Trust me. You will learn something.
Oh, and you are never too old. We have watched all ages working on the “workbooks” as we have hit 50 or so parks over the years. You are not embarrassing anyone! These are your parks… Get your free souvenir for god’s sake!
Do it. Send me a picture!
I have two bigger posts that are rattling around in the background of the blog waiting to be finished. The time to sit down uninterrupted is nonexistent right now. Aiden will be leaving soon for college and I will actually be a bit sad when that happens. Though, it will be a time we can finally get this house and yard back in order while I have time to write a little at night. So, it’s not all bad.
Tomorrow we head to Indiana to canoe with Nate and his family in a belated birthday celebration. Rarely to I kayak or canoe any other waters than the Mackinaw. I am looking forward to new scenery!