Many of us savor the memories of long summer days spent outside exploring up trees and under rocks. We can learn a lot from nature, but often times we overlook all that it has to teach us. With all the knowledge and information we can glean from books, TV, and not to mention, the worldwide web, it's easy to forget all that's waiting to be discovered by us just beyond the front door. No book or TV show could ever replace the excitement of holding a frog in your hand for the first time, or the feeling of salty ocean water flowing over and pulling under your feet. These are things we should strive to incorporate into our lives and pass on to the generations who might not come in contact with these simple pleasures so easily. Being located in the PNW, we are fortunate to live in a city full of people who love getting outside. There are endless ways to enjoy the nature around us!
Our Western Chief Family this quarter also loves to get outside. Meet the Wilde Family! They sure do appear to live up to their name. Read on to discover some of the things they've learned during their many many hours spent outside in wondrous nature.
ARE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES PART OF YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION?
The kid’s entire education is built upon being outside in nature! We typically spend the morning outside and then again later in the afternoon, no matter the weather. We are really big hikers and love exploring new trails on a regular basis. The kids also love to swim in our local creeks and rivers. Recently, we’ve started paddling with the kids and that has been such an adventure! Our family is also really into bouldering. The kids are natural born monkeys so we spend a lot of time bouldering indoors but frequently find opportunities to boulder outside when the weather is nice. When we are not doing the above, we typically just enjoy roaming. We love to head over the coast to find new caves, waterfalls, and tide pools. After a long day of exploring, we love to head back home and research any interesting topics that came up during our explorations.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR FAMILY HAS BENEFITED FROM BEING OUTSIDE IN NATURE?
My kids have an extreme level of energy, which they get certainly get from me! I’m an ultrarunner and always had boundless levels of energy as a child (and even to this day). On rare occasions, when we don’t have a full day outside the kids can easily destroy our house in no time. They really can’t focus and just kind of vibrate with excess energy. Going outside has made us much calmer (relatively speaking) and allows us to sit down and focus when we do come home and need to accomplish things.
WHAT HAVE YOU ALL LEARNED FROM YOUR TIME OUTSIDE?
That we are stronger and braver than we think we are. We’ve certainly found ourselves in sticky situations outside. We’ve had kids get stuck up in tall trees, face planted on rocks, run into large wildlife, gotten lost, etc. Being outside has given our entire family opportunities to push ourselves to our limits and break through them. Nature has given us amazing lessons in perseverance, bravery, and critical thinking.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL FAMILIES WHO ARE INTIMIDATED BY THE GREAT OUTDOORS?
Start at the park and bring friends! Some of our favorite places in nature are next to our house. We have so many fond memories in empty lots, meadows and small natural areas in our city. You don’t need to plan a backpacking trip in the back-country to enjoy being outside. Just find an area close to you that has a small area you can explore and work your way up from there.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRIP YOU'VE TAKEN WITH YOUR FAMILY?
Oh man! This is so hard because I essentially love them all. We love exploring Mexico together. Mexico has some amazing wild places. We explored the desert between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas once and that was so unique. We loved visiting the Volcanoes near Bend, Oregon too. However, one of my fonder trips was storm watching on the central Oregon coast.
WHERE DO YOU ALL WANT TO GO NEXT?
We are planning a trip to Vancouver Island that we are really excited about and another trip to explore some Volcanoes in Mexico next year. Other than that, we’d love to visit the desert in Eastern Oregon too!