Destinations and Apps to Experience the Natural World

Raptor flying in large cage, experience the natural world

Americans spend a huge portion of our time indoors and miss the majesty and mystery of the natural world. Places throughout the country, and apps available anywhere, are trying to fix this problem. Go out and experience the natural world.

By Mark Harris

Spring break, which used to be called Easter vacation, provides a few days away from school, and often work. Nancy, Sarah, and I went to visit old friends, the Creason family, this year. The biggest highlight of any such journey is building relationships, but two destinations stood out. Since Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors, and since I love the outdoors, we made sure to visit both on our trip.[1] Since then, we have travelled many other natural places, and technology helped improve our experience.

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Shooting with Sons

Shooting, including hunting, tactical training, and target practice, is both enjoyable and educational. It is a good way to enjoy friends and family, and to provide for and protect yourself and those you love in times of need. Safe shooting should be a core skill for all interested Americans. Fathers should teach their sons not to fear guns but to master them.  

By Mark D. Harris

Last week I went to the gun range to shoot with one of my sons. Over the years, members of our family have spent many hours on ranges and hunting grounds from Alaska to Germany. Shooting is a useful skill and a pleasant pastime, and we were glad to find the range open again after COVID-19. Many would have us fear guns. They would take them away from us, as the Nazis did to the German people in the 1930s. A better choice is for fathers to learn to use weapons of all sorts and teach their sons (and daughters) how to use them responsibly.

Parents, more than teachers, friends, or anyone else, will answer to God for how well they treated and trained the little ones that He entrusted to their care. From ethics to personal finance, parents train their children. Self-defense should be included.

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My Favorite Runs

Enjoyable walking, running, and cycling areas in the USA. Join me as we talk about my favorite runs (and hikes and bikes)

By Mark D. Harris

After retiring from the US Army in September 2016, I took a new job in Tennessee. My schedule prevented me from doing one of my favorite things, running. Today, however, I took a glorious 5-miler in the Wolf River Nature Area outside Germantown, TN. Running there reminded me of some of my favorite places to run, bike, or walk, throughout the United States. These trails are relatively easy, and located close to urban areas. Unlike some of the trails considered “Best in the US” for running, these are (generally) short and accessible to casual walkers, runners, bikers, and hikers.

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Soccer Tips from Coach Mark

How to give your players a fun and developmental soccer season.

I have coached soccer for school aged boys and girls for about three years and served as a sports medicine physician for a wide variety of sports for six years. Whether I am the team coach, the team doctor, or just a fan, I always have five goals for the game, in order of importance:

  1. No one gets hurt.
  2. Kids have fun.
  3. Kids learn leadership, teamwork, and character.
  4. Each child gets to play every position.
  5. Our team wins.

To accomplish those three goals in soccer, I have included some information for players and parents to learn. Practices are twice per week and games once per week. Players should practice at home five or six days per week.

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