This summer our parks department, National Trail Parks and Recreation District, had a first time ever letterbox program. I jumped on it the day it began because it’s free and it had some parks we’ve only visited once or never at all. We visited our local library, the Heritage Museum and three local parks – it was a lot of fun and we got to do some exploring, like looking for animal tracks that we don’t usually do. I had no idea that one park had coyotes! Talk about cool.
If you don’t know what letterboxing is – this website will explain it as will this one – it’s fairly simple and straight forward, although as my children will tell you not everyone follows the rules. Our first stop which was the first day the letterbox hunt started was the main library (which we don’t frequent) and imagine our surprise (and disappointment) when there was nothing there! We asked the librarian who told us it didn’t start until July so it took some convincing and we called the department twice, we weren’t able to wait around but one of the librarians did mark my children’s books to note that we did come and try to find the letterbox.
I will say that some of the hiking was a bit long for smaller people – so that is one thing that needs to be considered next year – is the routes to be taken – don’t make the families park at one end of the park, hike for a couple miles, find the letter box and then hike back to the car – that is what happened on our last letterbox find. Also someone had previously taken the stamp so we couldn’t mark their books and there were supposed to be small key chain flashlights for each child, there was only 1 left. Not following the rules makes it not enjoyable for others.
After we completed their books we took them down to the parks office and were told we were the first ones to turn the books in! Very excited about that! So it runs till August 29th and then there will be a drawing for prizes so we are eagerly awaiting to see what, if anything, they win. We learned quite a bit and also as I said above we got to visit some parks we hadn’t visited or even knew existed in our area so it was quite interesting. I’ll be posting more about summer fun so be looking out for those posts!
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