Let’s Go Kayaking!

It’s no secret that Chicago doesn’t have a forest in its back yard, although kids get a taste of the wonderous outdoor being so close to the lake, most of the kids in this area have not ventured far from the amenities of city life. Last year marked the beginning of our Pullman Summer Program and this year our new tradition continues. Being an urban park allows us to introduce kids to all kinds of different activities that can be done out in nature and to give them an opportunity to enjoy not just our park but neighboring parks as well.

Day 1: Pullman National Historical Park.

              Howdy Explorers! On day one of our three-day camp Explorers learn all about Pullman! On this day Explorers become Junior Rangers, learn all about the importance of leaving no trace when visiting National Parks, and get a taste of what camping is like as they learn how to set up tents. Of course, we can’t leave out the most important part of camping, which is the snacks. Unfortunately, due to the wildfire up in Canada we had to modify our day one experience to be almost entirely indoors. Our Explorers still managed to have fun as we set up our tents in our classroom and briefly explored the southern part of the Pullman neighborhood.

Day 2: Indiana Dunes.

              On this day our Explorers got a small taste of the outdoors as we headed east to the Indiana Dunes Douglas Center. There our explorers learned all about what dunes are, why they’re important, and how we managed to preserve what was left of them. With the air quality still being poor we couldn’t do everything we had planned but as we learned on the first day camp safety comes first! But have no fear our Explorers were enamored with Cleopatra, a box turtle under the care of the Douglas Center Rangers.

Day 3: The Forge, Lemont Quarries

              On our final day, we were finally able to head outside! We travelled west on an exciting expedition to The Forge, an outdoor park that offers plenty of outdoor activities such as ziplining, archery tag, laser tag, bike ramps and much more. Our Explorers went kayaking, became fearsome archers, and scavenged around the park while orienteering. For many of our Explorers this was their first time out in the water, it was gratifying to see them start out wary and get their gills. Before we knew it, we had kayaking enthusiasts on our hands. Sad as they were to get called back to shore, it was not long before excitement ramped up again as we headed to the archery range. There the explorers worked hard to hit their targets after a couple of rounds they were ready to explore the rest of the park while orienteering.

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