For the past 2 years, thanks to the Scouts, we have gone to the annual Youth Outdoor Day that is hosted by Oregon Wildlife.
This is year #17 and they rely heavily on sponsors and volunteers. But not just any volunteers. Every volunteer we encountered this year, and last, you get the impression that they truly love what they are teaching. You can feel their passion as they speak. And you can see kids soaking all the information up like a growing plant on the brink of drought.
Which is a good thing. Because their mission is simple. “Youth Outdoor Day is a unique event designed to give the youth of Oregon a place to learn about conservation of habitat, hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities.” (Youthoutdoorday.org)
And not just that. They are giving youth the ability to experience the outdoors in a way some may never have, or will never have, a chance to otherwise.
This event, is fostering a love and a passion for the outdoors that is so deeply needed today.
There was something for everyone. For all types of passions. From hunting to fishing to conservation to survival. This event reminded youth that there are so many different ways we can interact with the world around us.
That if fishing doesn’t pull your bobber, maybe searching for a treasure would.
Today, our super goofs decided they wanted to do as much as they could.
Daddy was not too thrilled with that idea.
And I needed the steps. So 3 v. 1. Too bad Dad.
So off we went. Last year, the girls and I did fishing at the end. We learned our lesson. Fishing was stop #1 today.
Youth outdoor day is just that…for youtys. Parents are merely there to drive and be their volun-made pack mules. All of these activities are for the kids. Parents are there to make sure kids are experiencing, and not sticking a hook in anyone.
Fishing was….interesting. Our kids have zero clue how to actually fish. Which is the point of outdoor day…to learn!
I think our kids got the wrong lesson plan.
“Worms have been deemed eeeeewwwwwww.” “And flinging the rod, is complicated.” “And I dont want to stand mom!” “Why do I have to hold this?!” “The line is super curly…. but if I reel it in, its gonna move my hook thing.”
Needless to say, patience did not catch on today.
B melted down. She WANTED to catch a fish. She needed to catch a fish. Her life may end without catching a fish.
Thankfully, we live in 2019 and not 1819. I pulled her aside and we came up with the solution that we can thankfully just go to the store to select a fish to eat.
So now apparently we are having fish for dinner tomorrow night. Wellllll at least the adults are. Not sure what the kids are gonna eat. They have never been fish eaters.
But they could surprise me (I’m not holding my breath. And you shouldnt either!)
Complete and total disaster was finally avoided. Off to learning all about geocaching…….oh yay! No kids…we dont have time to add 1 more thing to our lives. But Mama sure did find picking the brain of our GPS volunteer fantastic.
We then moved on to the kids’ favorite station…..reptiles.
They stared at snakes.
I didnt run away. Thats progress right?
They did a scavenger hunt in a homemade DIY earth fort? Tent? Cave? Inside of the earth? I have no idea how to explain it? But on the outside was all the different levels of soil horizons.
Bet you didnt know they weren’t called soil layers….
Oh and they climbed in a giant huge chinook fish named Claudia the Chinook.
And then they got to paint their hands. No. Just kidding. They were able to paint duck decoys this year! Last year this station was insanly overflowing with little humans so we decided to skip it.
I remained calm as E had a shutdown. I couldn’t get her out of it. Daddy finally told her we would leave her duck decoy here. She at least made it back to the table.
We finally got her storm to pass by letting her test out her brand new water filter she got as a raffle prize.
We didnt read the instructions. We quickly learned that the table we were sitting at was higher on one side than the other.
Mama was sitting at the lower end….
Our feet hurt. Our brains hurt. Bedtime is gonna be well worth it.
The girls participated in more stations than I talked about. And there were a few more we did not make it to.
I dont know if we will attend next year. We may not until the girls are old enough to do the sporting clay or archery clinics. Unless they have drastically different stations.
But for the 2nd year in a row….the Super Goofs had a blast.
I love having these opportunities that enables our kiddos to see all the different ways they can interact with their natural world.
One of my jobs as a parent is to make sure our kids are introduced to as much as possible so they can find what speaks to their soul.
I am curious what spoke to their soul at this years Youth Outdoor Day.