4 Ways to Opt Outside in 2020

4 Ways to Opt Outside in 2020

written by: Kelley V Phillips, Outreach Coordinator 

You may have heard the term “Opt-Outside,” but what does it mean? It’s a revolutionary movement where you choose enjoying the outdoors on Black Friday instead of joining a mad holiday rush. But with the whirlwind year so far, we thought opting outside for a single day may not be enough. Here are four activities to get you moving outside on Black Friday and beyond…

Stroll through a Storywalk
“Dragon’s Egg Soup” Storywalk is back and has traveled to Randolph County. Stroll through the soft meadow at McVey Memorial Forest to read each page of an original book about the magic that happens when a community works together written and illustrated by Muncie Public Library. The pop-up exhibit is available for your leisurely enjoyment from Monday, Nov 23 – Sunday, Nov 29.

Ride your bike to big blue stem
Did you know Red-tail Nature Preserve is on the Cardinal Greenway? It’s a short distance from the Medford Trailhead and connects to Prairie Creek Reservoir. Whether you start at Red-tail Nature Preserve or pass through, the Big Blue Stem makes a majestic sea of grass and the plaza is a perfect pitstop.

Develop your photography skills
Photography not only lets you create something beautiful, but is also ideal for social distancing. You may think the vibrant fall colors have vanished, but there are so many other interesting angles for you to explore. Could it be time to switch to a macro setting on your phone’s camera?

It’s scavenger hunting season
REI Co-op, the company who began Opt-Outside, has put together a scavenger hunt that can be customized to outdoor surroundings from neighborhoods to nature preserves. It’s a classic outdoor activity that the whole family can take part in (and a good way to spend any surplus youthful energy)!

Lastly, if hunting game is allowed in your area, you may take this chance to explore the wilderness and practice your hunting and shooting skills. Make sure that you have a license or permit to carry for your firearms so you don’t break any laws. Lastly, it is very important to store your firearm in a proper gun safe when not in use to prevent any accidents or misuse. Some people might be apprehensive about owning a firearm, as they are undeniably dangerous. The good news is that nowadays you can go through several trainings and lessons before ever touching a loaded weapon. If you find that these reservations are stopping you, I suggest you go somewhere with a Firearms Simulator that you can practice with initially so that you can more confidently wield a real firearm during live training. These will make these lessons safer and much more effective for you.

 Kelley V Phillips is the Outreach Coordinator for Red-tail Land Conservancy. Her work in community engagement inspires excitement and wonder in nature through education and tangible experiences.