For the first time, NWF’s Hike & Seek event is coming to Bernardsville’s Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, October 15. Hike & Seek is a fundraising event that inspires children’s sense of adventure by combining a nature hike and scavenger hunt. It brings children and adults together in the great outdoors for some fresh fall air and fun. The 1.5 mile hike has interactive “Stop & Study” nature stations with live animals, naturalists and engaging learning activities. The event is appropriate for children of all ages, especially toddlers to age 12.
The New Jersey Audubon Society is a state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation and is helping sponsor the event. “Spending time exploring nature is good for your health, tons of fun and brings the whole family together,” says Eric Stiles, COO and VP for Conservation and Stewardship with the Audubon Society. “Please come out and celebrate this outdoor adventure.”
The stations, manned by NWF volunteer naturalists and wildlife experts, provide activities to stimulate all the senses using Mother Nature’s world as inspiration. Every participant is given a Map & Mission Guidebook to direct their path and will receive an Honorary Junior Naturalist badge at the end of the hike. Once Hike &Seekers return to base camp, they will be greeted by exhibits and more activities, and live wildlife. Rumor has it that NWF’s Ranger Rick will make a special appearance.
Check-in and registration begins at 9:00 a.m.. Once on the trail you can go as fast or slow as you like. Don’t hurry, take time to enjoy and connect with the nature around you. Generally, the adventure takes approximately two hours to complete. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Discounted registration fees are available online at www.hikeandseek.org and range from $7-12. Day-of registration is slightly higher.
“With so much emphasis on electronic media these days, the nature of childhood has changed and there’s not much nature in it,” said Meri-Margaret Deoudes, Vice President of Corporate Relations and Special Events for NWF. “Hike & Seek is an opportunity for parents to show their kids why it’s called the great outdoors in an interactive and social setting.”
Hike and Seek is part of NWF’s Be Out There campaign to get kids outdoors where they can connect with nature, run and play, and just be kids. While contemporary parents spent their free time as kids exploring and playing in nature, their children spend far more time indoors plugged into electronic media. The result is that American kids are prone to higher incidences of obesity, asthma, diabetes and ADHD because they’re missing something essential to their health and development, unstructured time playing outdoors.
“Nature is the best kind of nurture and Hike&Seek is a wonderful way to provide the nurturing all parents want to give their children.” concluded Deoudes.