Dozens of families recently left their TVs and shut down computers for a few hours to attend “Explore the Outdoors” at McGuire Nuclear Station’s EnergyExplorium. The event was aimed at educating and reconnecting children to the wonders of the outdoors. “Explore the Outdoors” is just one of the many programs the EnergyExplorium, McGuire’s energy education center, hosts each year to draw attention to the vital role McGuire plays in the community.
“I think it’s important to get kids outdoors and away from technology every once in a while. I have two young children and it’s great to see them running around and getting their hands dirty,” said Lisa Dula, a Huntersville native who attended the event in late October.
While hunting and fishing events have been held in years past, the EnergyExplorium staff set out to do something different by introducing “Explore the Outdoors” as a way to encourage children and families to explore, create and play in a vibrant outdoor setting absent of video games, television and computers. More than 20 diverse organizations, from park rangers to beekeepers, collaborated to bring the event to the public. They offered opportunities for attendees to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities, including fishing from McGuire’s public access area on Lake Norman, rock climbing, fly fishing, archery, hunting and nature walks. Education was also a primary focus of the event, as additional exhibitors focused on water and soil conservation, composting and boater safety.
“With winter approaching, there can be a tendency to spend less time outdoors; that doesn’t mean there aren’t outdoor play opportunities available,” said Liz Lowe, a local resident who came with her son. When children are outdoors, the experience is more likely to be in organized sports or on the playground. This event opened my eyes to all the great activities available to us year-round!”
After a day of fresh air, fun and exploration, event-goers left “Explore the Outdoors” feeling happy and full of new discoveries to share with friends and family.