The Rev. , an Episcopal priest, recently wrote: "I've found over the years that most people have powerful spiritual experiences outdoors, experiences which move them deeply and which connect them with the divine as powerfully as anything else. These stories -- of God entering their lives through plants and animals and landscapes and storms and flowers and rocks -- are spiritual touchstones, cornerstones in the foundation of their faith. These are often the most real experiences of God with which they are blessed."
Our parks fulfill the longing in our children for adventure and exploration. By cultivating the natural curiosity and sense of wonderment in our children, we prepare them for the future. It is from a childhood well spent...days and nights filled with dreams, both real and imagined; of curiosities and longings (for what, we do not always know); of adventures, awaiting, around the next bend. It is from these children that our future leaders, our inventors and innovators, our writers and philosophers will emerge. Our parks are an integral part of the fabric of our Nation.
"It was here that the romance of my life began." -
According to the National Park Services, Theodore Roosevelt's experiences in the North Dakota badlands shaped his adult life, helping him become the Rough Rider, the President, and the world's leading land conservationist.