Summertime Activities for Youth

— Written By and last updated by

Summertime has arrived quickly. What place could be better to enjoy summer weather than in the great outdoors. There are many activities to choose from biking, camping, hiking, paddle sports, fishing, hiking, and more. Spending time outdoors has many benefits for youth.

Taking part in outdoor activities can help children develop strength, physical endurance, enhance their imagination, and increase their attention span. Participating in outdoor activities during a child’s summer break boosts their educational performance in school. In addition to all the aforementioned benefits, children regularly spending time outdoors helps them build knowledge and skills to be good stewards of the environment.

Playing outdoors increases a child’s fitness level and builds healthy and active bodies. This is important as the adolescent obesity rate is raising in our nation. Time outdoors will also raise a child’s vitamin D level which benefits their health in a variety ways long term. Along with the physical body benefits being outdoors has been shown to help decrease the stress level of youth and have a positive impact on their emotional health.


Caldwell County 4-H is providing a variety of opportunities for youth to participate in outdoor activities through our Summer Exploring Camps. Our 4-H clubs will be involved in various outdoor activities from archery competition, a horse show, camping trip, and more.

Another great opportunity for children to participate in outdoor activities is the Junior Ranger Program that is an education program offered by the North Carolina State Parks. This program is geared toward children who are ages 6-12 and have an interest in nature and environmental stewardship.

 "4-Hers and the 4-H Agent learning about water quality in a stream at Lake James State Park."

“4-Hers and the 4-H Agent learning about water quality in a stream at Lake James State Park.”

There is a Junior Ranger workbook that program participants will complete along with participating in several activities at NC State Parks. Those who successfully complete the program will receive a certification as a junior ranger.

Along with the programs that Caldwell County 4-H, NC State Parks, and other organizations have to offer, it is important to encourage children to take time out of their day this summer to be outdoors. Two fun activities that parents and other adults can do with children outdoors are tree identification and wildlife identification. North Carolina has a great variety of trees. Children can identify the trees by examining the leaves of the tree. A resource to help with tree identification can be found at https://projects.ncsu.edu/cals/plantbiology/ncsc/tnc/index.html#.WSzhpvQrKeF. Along with variety of trees in North Carolina, we have many wildlife species. Children can identify wildlife that could potentially be outside around their home by looking for animal tracks and habitats where wildlife species live. Further information about wildlife species found in North Carolina can be found at http://www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species.

To learn more about opportunities that Caldwell County 4-H has to offer, please contact me at charlie_godfrey@ncsu.edu or 828-757-1257.