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Ode to The Grass Stain Guru: My Outdoor Bill of Rights

Ode to The Grass Stain Guru: My Outdoor Bill of Rights

Bethe, a.k.a. The Grass Stain Guru,  probably doesn’t know how much of an impact she’s had on me and my family.  I’m a thinker and Bethe’s posts always challenge me. I like to say she “makes my brain hurt.”  Really. She has a knack for putting an idea out there and letting it hit the reader. I read her posts and say “Yes!”  Then the idea sits with me until it SMACKS me in the face and I do something about it. Bethe’s words are simple, yet inspiring and true.

I’d highly recommend visiting her blog and especially recommend her posts about:

Perhaps my favorite recent post is about creating your own personal Outdoor Bill of Rights. Bethe shares her personal list on her Head Smart Body Smart post: Your Right to Play Outside.  California is one of the states with a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights in place. I’m happy to say my 8 year old can put a check by every point. My 5 year old gets a 9/10 (she hasn’t played on a team yet).

So my friend, Debi, of took Bethe’s challenge and created an Outdoor Bill of Rights for herself. I did it, too. I wasn’t planning to post it – but maybe we can get all of you to think about this a little bit and write one for yourself. I actually crafted my list in my ever-present spiral-bound notebook while we were camping.

Michele’s Outdoor Bill of Rights

I have the right to:

  • let bird song and sunshine be my alarm clock.
  • listen to the river rush over rocks while I sleep.
  • cook my dinner on a campfire and eat outdoors often.
  • see nature through the eyes of my children.
  • stop at every “VISTA POINT” and “SCENIC OUTLOOK.”
  • marvel at the sunrise and sunset.
  • keep some of my special moments in nature a secret.
  • skip and hold hands.
  • STOP and look and listen and feel the world around me.
  • make snow angels and sand angels.
  • feel small when I look at a starry sky, a deep canyon, a gushing waterfall, or the tallest of trees.
  • get silly, get wet, get dirty, build stuff, and tear stuff down.
  • dive under the ocean waves and grab the sand to anchor myself.

Have You Made an Outdoor Bill of Rights? | Let Children Play

Monday 30th of April 2012

[...] and life achievements. I am also sharing a post from another passionate play advocate and mom, Michele Whiteacker of the blog Fun Orange County Parks. Michele was inspired by the Outdoor Bill of Rights created by the Grass Stain Guru and went about [...]

Frances Jones

Friday 11th of March 2011

Wonderful. What a great list. Isn't it great how we all influence each other. Caro was telling me about Marghanita's wonderful work when we went to stay at her farm.

Adam Jack

Wednesday 15th of September 2010

Wonderful list. I especially liked "get silly, get wet, get dirty, build stuff, and tear stuff down." To easy to forget as adults, but such a joy to regain with our kids.


Wednesday 15th of September 2010

Yay! Thanks for sharing your list -- I love it!

Marghanita Hughes

Wednesday 15th of September 2010

Beautiful Michele.

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