Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience {September 21-22, 2013}

Last week I was working my other job as a cheerful salesperson at a store which sells containers for very organized people, when I came across a charming older couple who had just moved to Indiana from Kansas. The gentleman was cracking me up … while they’d come to the store for supplies for their new home, he was obviously prepared to use every opportunity to glean information about his new town from anyone he met.

Let me ask you this …” he said.

I was prepared for a question about organizing kitchen drawers or a good container for pet food, but instead he peppered me with questions about where can one get good, local milk, who’s the best vet in town, what’s my favorite pizza place? He whipped out a notebook and began furiously taking notes. We had a nice chat and I wished them well as they settled into their new home. As they began to walk away he turned around and asked one last question.

“You know, I love the outdoors – hunting, fishing, camping, hiking. What’s the best way for me to find out where I can do those things in Indiana?”

“Sir, you are IN luck!  Let me tell you about the Hoosier Outdoor Experience.”

The Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience is a free, 2-day event presented by the Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. Held on the grounds of Ft. Harrison State Park September 21 & 22, the goal of the weekend is to expose Hoosier families to more than 50 outdoor activities. And by expose I mean hands-on, try-it-you’ll-like-it! experiences.

We attended as a family last year and had a blast. We went off-roading in a Jeep,  had a family skeet shooting competition (Elena won), tried our hand at cross-bows, mined for gold, went canoeing, fished … and those were just a few of the highlights.

Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience Crossbow Shooting 101

Much like our camping experience a few weeks ago, this is an excellent program for families who like the idea of trying some new outdoor activities but just aren’t sure where to start. Nearly every activity gives you the chance to try it in some form.  If you enjoy it, there are friendly experts just waiting to answer each and every question you might have.

The event is free, and you do not need tickets to enter, but they are kindly asking that you register to attend.  It helps them both in planning as well as evaluating the event to make it bigger and better each year.

As I told my inquisitive customer all about the upcoming Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience, his grownup eyes lit up like Christmas morning. People, if it makes a grown man that excited, imagine what it will do for your kids!  If you’re one of my Hoosier readers, don’t miss the wonderful event.  See you there!

Have you attended the Hoosier Outdoor Experience in the past?  What was your favorite activity?  What activity are you most looking forward to trying this year?