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Can you guess this park? Hint: It's known for geologic features called "hoodoos". Find out the answer next month. Photo courtesy of Frank Lee Ruggles Photography.

I can’t believe it’s already August! I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun exploring parks. Soon you will be heading back to school; but before that happens, spend as much time as you can outside. Do you need some ideas? Go for a leisurely walk, ride a bike, or even hop in a canoe. Visit our website for more ideas. Share your adventures ( and remember to tag me #buddybison in your photos on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Your friend,

Buddy Bison

Dance, Dance, Recreation

Last month, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Park and Recreation Month (#JulyPRM30), I busted out some good ol’ dance moves at Monument Park in Rockville, MD. Click here

Dancing can be done pretty much anywhere, even outdoors! Alone or with friends, it exercises the whole body, is fun and makes us smile. Share with me your short videos (10-15 seconds long) of you dancing outside at parks via Instagram (@nationalparktrust) and you may be the lucky one featured on our social media.

Students from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy have a blast ziplining (Harpers Ferry, WV).

Ziplining in Wild West Virginia

With beautiful weather and lots of great activities planned, fifteen 7th and 8th grade boys from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy in Baltimore, MD were excited to travel to FLOC’s (For Love of Children) Outdoor Education Center for an overnight camping trip last month. The students participated in a variety of team-building activities that helped prepare them for the high ropes challenge course. The course pushed them to mentally and physically overcome a series of obstacles. With encouragement from their classmates, they all finished the course (Some did it multiple times!). I saw their smiling faces as they came cruising down the zipline.
We set up a campfire that evening and roasted some marshmallows. One of the boys found me a Buddy Bison-sized stick so I could roast marshmallows too. We ended our overnight adventure with a three-hour paddle down the Shenandoah River. During our canoe trip, we floated over small rapids, saw a variety of bird species and got to swim in the river. What a terrific experience! Click here to see photos from the trip including one of me roasting marshmallows.
Thank you Rocksprings Foundation for supporting these enthusiastic young men once again this year! 

A Terrific Trio of Trips

The students at Washington Jesuit Academy (WJA) in Washington, D.C. are out and about in full force this summer having already visited three different parks.

Potomac Overlook Regional Park (Arlington, VA)
The 5th and 6th graders saw raptors, snakes and turtles up close. They also did a short nature hike around the park and stopped at a small pond to learn about frogs and other aquatic life. Check out more photos here.
Watkins Regional Park (Upper Marlboro, MD)
The 7th and 8th graders ventured out to the Old Maryland Farm and the Watkins Nature Center. Students got up close to the farm animals and learned about their characteristics, habits, and importance to humans. See their photos here.
Sandy Point State Park (Annapolis, MD)
The whole school enjoyed a fun summer excursion to the Chesapeake Bay, where they swam, played basketball and bocce ball, and enjoyed good food. It was the perfect time to cap off a successful year - great fun and relaxing! Check out their smiling faces here.

Our partnership with WJA is made possible thanks to generous multi-year sponsorships from the Clark Charitable Foundation. We look forward to planning more park experiences for these adventurous boys this fall. 

Swiftcurrent Lake by moonlight at Glacier National Park. Photo courtesy of Frank Lee Ruggles Photography.

Buddy Bison's Photography Corner

As we all know, one of the best ways to capture the fun times we have while exploring America's parks is through photographs. NPT's Artist Ambassador Frank Lee Ruggles has taken tens of thousands of photographs in America’s parks and has oodles of expert trips to share. However, this month he reminds us sometimes it's important to put the camera down.
“The experience of exploring America's National Parks is supposed to be a relaxing, wondrous experience, but often, photographers spend too much time with a camera pressed against their face. You owe it to yourself to always leave time to just look at the landscape, experience and enjoy it. Breathe deep, feel the sun on your face, listen to the least every once-in-a-while. It reminds us why we are outside hiking in these beautiful places."

Thanks Frank for a great tip! Let's all remember to slow down and take it all in. 

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