Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sand Dunes Summer Trip

This summer we had the opportunity to camp at Sand Dunes National Park with our homeschool group.  We had a fantastic time, staying in a cabin, playing in the water and building sand castles, hiking the mountains and hiking the dunes.  With the boys a year older since our last trip to the Sand Dunes we were able to hike all the way to the highest peak.  I was so proud of them and SO thankful for our emergency protein bars and applesauce in our hiking backpack.  It took us all day and something like 15k steps and the equivalent of 100 flights of stairs but we made it.  Of course, coming back down was tons of fun and super easy.  We purchased a used snowboard at the end of the season and it was the perfect "sled" for sliding down the sand.
If you don't know yet, the National Park System has a program called "Junior Rangers" at many of the parks.  If you stop by the visitor center they have a (most of the time) free booklet of activities for children to complete to learn about the park, its inhabitants and plant life.  Through this program we learned all sorts of things about the Sand Dunes.  Once completing the booklet the kids are awarded a badge to wear.  I love the program because it gives us an opportunity to turn hiking into an interactive brain powered adventure as we're looking for plants or signs of animals, signs to read or rangers to explain one of our many questions.  I'd highly suggest the opportunity for families with kids 4-15.

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