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Month of the Military Child: My 1st hike

Children smiling for photo

Hikers taking part in the “My 1st Hike” event avoid an area of deep mud by walking over a makeshift bridge in Highland, Ill., April 19, 2019. After a full day of rain, the day before the hike much of the trail had mud and standing water, but the group still completed the hike. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson)

Children smiling for photo

Jessica Petot, 375th Force Support Squadron recreation specialist, shows the hikers thorns that fell off a plant during the “My 1st Hike” event in Highland, Ill., April 19, 2019. Petot, who led the hike, showed hikers some of the plants and animals found around Silver Lake Park. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson)

Children smiling for photo

Children taking part in the “My 1st Hike” event smile for a photo at the turn around point in the hike, April 19, 2019, in Highland Ill. The hike is one of the two “1st Hikes” hosted by Outdoor Recreation; the next one takes place later in the year during the fall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson)

Children smiling for photo

Participants in the Spring “My 1st Hike” event, hosted by 375th Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation, take a group photo before starting the 4.5 mile hike April 19, 2019, in Highland, Ill. The hike was targeted toward military children as part of a salute to the month of the military child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Outdoor Recreation’s “My First Hike” event helped encourage healthy habits and hobbies as part of its salute to military children.

Over a dozen participants took part in the 4.5-mile hike at Silver Lake Park in Highland, which is about 30 minutes from the base.

 “The hike was organized to give parents a chance to introduce their children to hiking and hopefully motivate them to enjoy other outdoor activities,” said Jessica Petot, 375th Force Support Squadron outdoor recreation specialist who organized the event.

 She said it’s a great opportunity for military families to not only hike for their health, but also so they can appreciate the trails and paths in Illinois.

Hailee, age 6, said it was fun despite the mud, which was caused by rain the day before. She said her favorite part was the field of flowers that waited for the hikers at the turn around point hallway through the hike.    

My 1st Hike is held twice a year—Spring and Fall, when the weather is nicer.

“These hikes focus on getting kids who are new to hiking more comfortable with it,” said Petot, who grew up in Southern Illinois. “There are plenty of great hiking opportunities around here. A lot of people at Scott don’t realizes the amount of activities out here.”        

Whether hiking with a group or wanting to go solo, Outdoor Rec offers other adult hiking, camping and summer activities as well. For a schedule of their events or more information, see www.375fss.com or check out their Facebook page at Scott AFB Outdoor Recreation.