UMHB Squirrels Get Outdoors!

How does your spirit, your soul, your mind, find renewal?

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in, and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”  – John Muir

Are you an early bird with your cup of coffee, resting in the quietness of the morning?

Are you a socialite who finds renewal in just spending time with friends seated around the dinner table?

Or do you find yourself stir-crazy looking for the next great adventure and a way to escape your immediate reality?

Whatever your personality is like, one of these three or all of them combined, I encourage you to find renewal in the Great Outdoors.

I’m talking about taking time to explore, or sit and marvel at what is before you. There’s just something about separating yourself from the day to day busyness and immersing yourself in God’s creation. There’s a peace that comes from knowing each and every mountaintop, tree-filled forest, flower-filled meadow, and sandy beach was designed by the same Creator who made you and me. The Great Outdoors is waiting, and it doesn’t require anything from you but time. And with summer’s arrival, now is as good a time as any to start!

In order to embrace it, you don’t have to go hike the tallest mountain, ride the roughest terrain on a  bike, or sleep on the ground because that’s the stereotypical “experience” of camping. If you like these options, then you do you, my friend. The goal is to find what suits you.

Maybe you like going for a walk and catching the sunrise to start your day, or a sunset to end it. Maybe your workout of choice is a hike or run; then go find that secluded (safe) trail away from the noise of roads and the city. Maybe you’re in need of a serious vacation and want to see the Arches in Utah, the mountain tops of Glacier National Park, the thriving wildlife of Yellowstone, or the tide pools at La Push. Again, the goal is to focus on your own experience; just start somewhere.

“I swear to you, there are divine things far more beautiful than words can tell.” – Walt Whitman

So don’t just take my word for it, get out there and see for yourself. Go find renewal for your mind, body, spirit, and soul.

In case you’re at a loss, here are a few ideas of where and how to start:

  • Hammock (anywhere!) and bring along your favorite book, Bible, or journal with you.
  • Kayak or Paddleboard on a local river (or lake, or beach, whatever is closest to you).
    • Check what your local Parks and Rec office has to offer, or hit up Google and see where the closest rental companies are (you don’t have to go out and buy a kayak, just rent or borrow one).
  • Go for a run on a greenbelt or trail. Stay safe, wear bright colors and let someone know where you’re going.
  • Plan a day or weekend trip to a nearby State or National Park. Take time to research the weather, how much water you’ll need, meals/snacks (you’ll want more than you think), and what wildlife is in the area.
    • Remember to leave it better than you found it, pack plenty of trash bags, and take a refillable water bottle.
  • Have a picnic, even if it’s in your own neighborhood. Just get outside! Food + good weather + family & friends = a great time.

Whatever you choose to do, remember to take time to thank the Creator for the beauty of the Great Outdoors!

UMHB’s 340-acre campus offers some breathtaking views of creation! Check out the Outdoor Adventure and Recreation Center (affectionately known as Peacock Ranch!) to find some awesome trails, or set up your hammock in Millennium Oaks Park. To see even more of our beautiful campus, we encourage you to schedule a campus visit!