Let the Games Begin!

What is summer really all about?  I think it’s about enjoying the good weather and spending time with those you love.  One way to do that is on summer vacations and I’ll write this month about Volunteer Vacations that you will be excited to try.  But another way to revel in long summer days and clear skies is do some playing around in your local parks.

KaBOOM has made doing that even more pleasurable with the chance to win a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C.  But I’m not just writing about KaBOOM because of the contest. KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit that does lots of wonderful things in communities throughout the United States.

KaBOOM provides grants for park equipment for playgrounds as well as tools for organization and fundraising for these playgrounds. It also sponsored an initiative to build playgrounds in hurricane ravaged areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita and built over 130 playgrounds on the Gulf Coast. It encourages imaginative play with the Imagination Playground program and community building with its KaBOOM! Community Builds program. 

You can get involved in these programs, but an even easier way to help KaBOOM is to contribute to its Map of Play by sharing, rating and finding new playgrounds in your area. You can do this with your mobile phone or online.  If you find a new park, it will be added to the map and that way we can all find the playgrounds in our area while also identifying Play Deserts in need of play areas.

But back to the contest.  From July 2nd to August 13th, each playground you visit will earn you points. The three top earners will win the trip to D.C. while along the way, you’ll also have mini challenges you can win to earn prizes as you go.

KaBOOM has had a Park-A-Day Challenge for the past couple of years.  This year it has chosen eight families that pledge to take their children to at least 50 different parks this summer, post photos and updates to the Park-A-Day Summer Challenge group on kaboom.org and add or contribute to each playspace they visit on the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder, also known as the Map of Play. 

You don’t have to take the Park-A-Day challenge to enter the contest, but it would sure help put you in the running for the D.C. trips to try and visit 50 parks or a new park every day.

I’m definitely thinking about entering the contest and have signed up for further information.  As a family, we have been wanting to visit our nation’s capital for a few years now.  

So get out there! Take a walk in the great outdoors or bring the kids to slide, swing and play.  Yesterday was the last day of school in my county and the unofficial start of summer. Let the games begin!

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