This was the summer of birding for our family. My husband rekindled his love for birding and the rest of us joined in. We already love hiking, picnicking and just generally being in nature. Birding added a new layer of awareness for what was going on around us. Instead of just hiking we were simultaneously listening for bird calls, trying to identify that flash of yellow that flew by, and tracking down the tap-tap-tapping of an unknown woodpecker.
One Saturday we convinced some of our good friends to join us on a birding adventure. They enjoyed it as much as we did! Our friend asked, “Would you be willing to take a group of girls and leaders on a birding tour for Activity Days? I’m the new Activity Days leader.” My husband was thrilled someone took interest. They talked about the best time to do this guided tour and how to collect a bunch of binoculars for the group.
This conversation made me realize how fun and valuable it would be to tap into ward members’ or neighbors’ hobbies or professions in order to plan some interesting, varied Activity Days experiences. Do you have a birding enthusiast in your ward? Is your neighbor a master gardener? Is your home teacher a researcher in a lab that you could visit? Does a ward member have access to a recording studio that you could tour? Does your friend work on a college campus? Any professional musicians or actors you know? Perhaps a simple survey sent around to ward members would dig up a bunch of potential opportunities that you wouldn’t know of otherwise.
When children help to plan such an outing, it may qualify for one of the activities under “Serving Others” or “Developing Talents” in the Faith in God booklet.