Watching a child explore the outdoors is seeing it for the first time, all over again. Their eyes light up at the multitude of colors, the strange smells, the new textures and surreal sounds. It is pure magic.
And it does even more—it helps create lasting change. Our public lands and the wellbeing of our plant relies on the next generation—as much as they rely on it. To make great stewards of the land, all you have to is take youngers out and give them the opportunity to find the power of the outdoors for themselves.
Last weekend we asked our community to take a member of the next generation outdoors. You did not disappoint. These are the stories you shared with us. These are stories of inspiration and hope, achievement and awe, and, above all, stories of the next #ForceOfNature.
"This one. A piece of my heart. May you always be wild, dear girl. May you always be free. May you always be daring, and brave. May you always know your own power. May you always love fiercly. May you always follow your heart; and know in that heart that you are loved. Go, and shine your light. .
Reposting for my entry to @rei #ForceOfNature campaign. Backcountry Site 18, Great Smokey Mountain NP. This little warrior hiked 2.7 miles carrying her own water, helped set up the tent, then romped and explores till dinner. ." —@coleyraeh
"My girls #ForceOfNature #REIemployee" —@hatfieldpdx
"What she said! #ForceOfNature #girlsbecomewomen #whoruntheworldgirls" —@treaserogers
"Five years old and she put our tent up almost entirely by herself camping this week ❤? #parentinggoals ??✔️ #ForceOfNature" —@littletreesphotography
"Who are these girl's inspiration and role models? You are! What can you do to even the playing field for their future? #ForceOfNature#REIemployee #outessa #climbing" —@cyndi_skyrunner_wyatt
"Victory!! We kicked off #ForceOfNature with a bike ride to the park where girlfriend climbed the big 5 foot rock all by herself. Who says girls are weak? Our little nosher is one tough cookie!" —@nosh_idaho
"All smiles on the trail today #ForceOfNature #takeyourkidsoutside" —@elisabethstiles
"I was terrified of mountain biking until I was 21. She is 2 and the happiest biker on the trail. #ForceOfNature" —@leslierallred
"My little #ForceOfNature" —@ooskadoodle
"'Hey! / I'm not giving up today / There's nothing getting in my way / And if you knock, knock me over / I will get back up again' -Trolls, Get Back Up Again
Adelaide's new favorite song. With a great message. Can't say I'm annoyed about this one.
#poco #beach #ForceOfNature #pinkhathiker #adelaideevelyn" —@michahastattoos
"We hiked to Boulder River Falls for Trail Hike Tuesday this week with #hikeitbaby #52hikechallenge2017 #raiseawildchild #nevertooyoungtohike #adventure #hiking #waterfall #ForceOfNature" —@toddlertrekking