Some of Jeff's fondest childhood memories are visiting National Parks with his family. Also, Boo's birthday is a bit of a kick-off for summer. And, I recently heard that experiences, not material possessions are what bring happiness (I intuitively knew this, but hearing it made a light bulb go off...and maybe that's why I love thrifting and handmade...there's something of an experience about it!).
Therefore, I have an idea. I think that for Boo's 5th birthday, we're going to go to Crater Lake National Park. It's local (I know, amazing isn't it?) and one of Boo's new favorite things is volcanoes.
While there (or before hand, I think it's cheaper), we'll get this:
"This handy, spiral bound, 6" x 3" travelogue fits conveniently into a
pocket or backpack for easy reference. The 104 page guidebook makes it
easy to learn about and explore all of our national park sites. The Passport
to Your National Parks includes maps color-coded for specific
regions in the country, pre-visit information, illustrations and
photographs. It also includes a free map and guide to the national
Spaces in each region are designated for you to collect rubber stamp cancellations at each national park site you visit. The cancellations, similar to those received in an international passport, record the name of the park and the date you visited."
So, as we visit National Parks, we can have the passport date-stamped to "check off" that we've been there. According to Wikipedia, there are 392 National Park units (and even more affiliates) and most of them have stamps. The ink is even color-coded for the nine different regions.
There's also a companion passport for kids:
This has, among other things, info on the National Park Junior Ranger programs:
"The Kids' Passport To Your National Parks Companion is the perfect way to enhance your kids' experiences in our national parks! This 100-page book is to be used with the original Passport To Your National Parks. It contains checklists of many of the national parks in the country, a place to list the Junior Ranger programs your child completes, a field journal, and much more! Your kids can keep track of the memories they make while visiting our national parks!"
There are also spots in the main passport for commemorative stamps (like postage stamps):"This set features all twenty five years Passport To Your National Parks stamp sets (1986-2010). These stamps are made exclusively for the Passport To Your National Parks book.
Make your Passport To Your National Parks book complete by including the annual commemorative stamp series. Each series includes nine regional stamps and one national stamp on one sheet. Simply detach the stamps and place them in the designated areas in your booklet."
What is unclear is whether this is the last year that these will be made (stamps have been made for all sites) or will this continue? If you know, please shed some light on this for me, I'm new to this stuff!
At any rate, Boo isn't ready for these stamps. He's not into stickers, so I think in a couple years we'll be ready for these.
So, dear readers...have you done this or something similar as a child or with your kids? I think it will be quite an adventure!