Start a Family Nature Club

Family Nature Club

When I asked other parents about what keeps them from playing outdoors with their kids, I got some eye-opening responses. A few of the most common answers were that they don’t enjoy certain aspects of outdoor play, that it’s boring, or that they’re afraid of some of the elements that go along with nature (bugs, poison ivy, animals, etc).

It’s a shame, but it’s completely understandable. When there’s a barrier that keeps you from trying something you might enjoy, one of the best ways to surmount it is to enlist the help of friends. When something is daunting or you don’t know where to start, having someone else to help you through it or encourage you can be the difference between doing and dreaming.

One of my family goals for this year is to get us out and about in nature more. We’re great about playing outside, but I would love to see us do more hiking, camping, and exploring the many trails and parks around us. Our tree identification project also sparked a desire in me to learn more about the plants and animals around us. I have lots of great ideas, but often lack the motivation to get out and do them. Or maybe I have the motivation, but the kids are less than enthused because they want to hang out with friends rather than just each other.

That’s why I’m so excited to see about the prospect of starting our own family nature club. ¬†Family nature clubs are a way for families to get together with others and explore nature together. By banding together with other families, you have the encouragement, the community, and the opportunity to share ideas for activities and new places with a group. Anyone can start a nature club and it can be made up of any group of people you like – friends, neighbors, schoolmates, playgroups, church groups, or random local internet friends (my favorite!).

The Indiana Children and Nature Network has links to great online resources you can use to start your own nature club. If you’re local, you can attend a free training session with an ICAN representative at Cool Creek Nature Center in Carmel on Saturday, January 18 from 2-5 p.m. You can register here.

I’m excited to start our own club, meet some new friends, and explore around us. Is this something you think you’d like to try?



  1. I would like to be part of your family nature club, please.


  1. […] that’s where I come in. In addition to starting our own Family Nature Club, I’m hoping to help inspire and educate others on how they can do the same. As I sat there […]