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Find Your Heart Outdoors this Fall.

Last week, we received word that the Maine Department of Education has given Cumberland County a "green"code and that the current plan for Portland Public Schools is to start a hybrid version of school on September 14th. This news brings varying degrees of anxiety and relief for families, as everyone has a unique set of needs. For my family, this means our kids will likely be on their own a couple of days a week, since my husband works full time outside of the house and I will return to teaching. Goldfish and popsicles for lunch anyone? Although we have supportive grandparents who are eager to help, we worry about exposing them to whatever we may pick up at school. It's complicated, as we all know.

The good news - all Portland School students and staff will by home on Wednesdays. Our family has decided to declare this our outdoor adventure day or as Finn likes to call it "Woods Wednesday". As KMP Members, you will receive a weekly email with information about the new local trail we've explored. We will also be leaving a heart shaped design somewhere on the trail, made with natural materials we pick up along the way...Finny and Henry Goldsworthy style. Here is our challenge for you, our members:

  1. Explore the weekly trail and locate our heart art.

  2. Create a family design of your own to leave somewhere on the trail. Natural materials only please!

  3. Take a photo of your design and/or a picture of your kids next to it.

  4. Email me the photo at

  5. After I receive 5 photos from your adventures, I will mail you a prize.

What I've realized through all of our outdoor adventuring, is that my 9 year old is quite content to meander through trails without a goal or plan. My 12 year old is much better with a challenge and a job. Having something to search for and then something to create makes our trail hikes much more fun for him. Maybe this is also the case for some of your kids. At any rate, time spent outdoors benefits all personality types. It can also provide some much needed relief during a time when we are all returning to too many hours on screens.

I hope you will join us for this weekly challenge and can't wait to see what kind of designs you come up with! In the meantime, we'll be leaving our hearts on the trails for you to find. You can look forward to your first challenge arriving in your inbox later this week.

I hope you are all doing ok with the big decisions required this fall. I also hope that these trail adventures become a silver lining in this wild ride we are all currently on. Sending big hearts your way.


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