Why I love the Outdoors

I grew up outside. I went to school, did my homework, but I awaited the moment when my mom and teacher were satisfied with the day’s work. At that moment, I flung open the door and ran for the sunshine. Before a neighborhood arose from the woods behind my house, I explored through the tall Georgia pines and oak trees until I ended up on the banks of a small creek that I was forbidden to play in. After taking off my shoes, I splashed around and tried to find my favorite white rocks among the mud and simple brown pebbles. I always got in trouble for being in the creek, but it never mattered. In the summer, we went to the pool and all sorts of camps. Even Music Camp played in the sun in between group rehearsals and solo practice. I played sports and went to stay-away camp in the North Georgia Mountains at Camp Glisson. I longed to be outside and embark on adventures on my bike or a stick that I imagined was a horse. Middle school was the worst because we were inside from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

In college, I truly realized my passion for the outdoors. I worked at Camp Glisson for three summers. We spent all but two of the waking hours outside climbing the Alpine Tower or the water tower or zipping over Lake Neil on the zip-line. No central air system matches the cool and refreshing flow of Cane Creek over your feet.

It saddens me to think that more and more of those fantastic creeks and mysterious trees dry up and fall down with urban growth. My corner of Cobb County used to be quiet and blank. It took 20 minutes to get to Wal-Mart or McDonalds but while anticipating the clearing in the trees where the sun’s golden yellow beams danced every morning, the drive felt like an adventure instead of a hassle. I still love to see the deer gathered in the fields near my house or watch the majestic hawks that perch on what trees still exist in Kennesaw, Ga.

Why do I love the outdoors? It gave me imagination and hours of excitement without paying a single dime. No light on earth compares to the sun, and no chill feels better than the moment you jump into a lake.

-Rachel McDaniel

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