Fort Sumter to host National Get Outdoors Day event Saturday at Liberty Square
Fort Sumter National Monument will host a National Get Outdoors Day event 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Liberty Square in downtown Charleston.
About Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service. The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square is at 340 Concord St.
The site is open daily 8:30 a.m.-to 5 p.m. except for New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For information, call 883-3123 or visit www.nps.gov/fosu.
This GO Day event will offer a mix of information centers and active fun areas, places where guests can play with historic games and toys, play games that are ecologically related to the Lowcountry and visit with area organizations to learn about outdoor recreational opportunities and healthy living.
If you go
WHAT: National Get Outdoors Day.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square, 340 Concord St.
MORE INFO: Call 883-3123 or visit www.nps.gov/fosu.
“It’s a White House initiative from the first lady and the president himself to get people outdoors, especially our kids, to seek out healthy, active activities,” says Sydney Schneider, education technician at Fort Sumter National Monument and the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. “Also it’s a way to get kids to embrace our parks, forests and other public lands.”
Activities designed to encourage kids to go outside and play will include old-fashioned games such as hopscotch, sack races, beanbag toss, marbles and jacks.
“These (games) are focused on getting back to the basics ... even going back to our roots as a major Civil War city and talking about graces and lawn hoops,” Schneider says. “Graces is anywhere between a 5-inch wooden circle and a 12-inch wooden circle that you fling with sticks and the other person has to catch it with a stick. It was meant to teach young girls how to be graceful.”
The Boy Scouts of America, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, S.C. Aquarium and more will participate. National Park Trust mascot Buddy the Bison and Forest Service mascot Smokey Bear also will make appearances.
The aquarium will provide educational and ecological outdoor games and will bring the Trading Post outside for guests to enjoy.
“The point of the Trading Post is all about teaching people about what they can find out in the wild and then learn something about it,” says Whit McMillan director of education at the aquarium.
Admission to the event and visitor center are free.
Last year, there were more than 117 official GO Day sites across the country.
“It’s exciting when people come and learn through our exhibits and then want to go out and explore nature themselves. That’s a great connection to make,” McMillan says. “So for us, it’s all about getting people to understand the environment and then eventually care for it more.”
Reach Shannon Brigham at 958-7393 or on Twitter @shannonbrigham.