For the last six years, the Get Outdoors (GO) Lebanon! program has influenced children and families to be active and find enjoyment in the outdoors through reading and recreation activities like walking and hiking.
The theme for this year is “GO and Find Your Story!” and the focal point is folk tales, mythology and fantasy. GO! Lebanon commenced on July 1 and will conclude on August 30.
WellSpan Health and Lebanon County Libraries work together to produce the yearly reading program. Approximately 300 children walked almost 2,400 miles in the 2019 initiative.
“More than ever, with the past few months of uncertainty, avid GO! Lebanon participants have been awaiting the start of the program and getting active outdoors,” said Sandy Gladfelter, Health Educator, Community Health and Wellness, WellSpan Health, in a press release.
The program includes letterboxing, an activity that involves following given clues and searching to discover hidden objects and items. The items that have been camouflaged for this program are called story pages and are wooden marker posts that have special etchings connected to them. These story pages have been placed out of sight in 15 parks throughout Lebanon County.
Participants can pick up a program guide to find the story pages through the curbside pickup option at all Lebanon County libraries in Annville, Fredericksburg, Lebanon, Myerstown, Palmyra, and Richland. An etching sheet can also be picked up and used to make a rubbing with a crayon or pencil at each marker post. Program guides and etching sheets can also be printed at home from lclibs.org/go-lebanon-county/.
New for this year’s program, participants will receive credit for their progress by entering the 4-digit codes on the online library tool, Beanstack. Participants can sign up for Beanstack at lclibs.org/go-lebanon-county/ and will have until Sept. 5 to enter all information into Beanstack. It is essential that the 4-digit codes are entered into Beanstack in order to receive credit. The etching sheets will not be collected this year.
Any participant who discovers all 15 posts will have walked or hiked about 14 miles total. To be eligible to receive a prize, at least three completed etchings must be logged. There will also be grand prizes awarded.
All children and families are asked to follow current health guidelines such as social distancing, wearing masks and routinely washing and sanitizing their hands. Participants can share photos of their experiences and offer any valuable tips on the program’s Facebook page called Get Outdoors (GO) Lebanon.
“The Lebanon County libraries are excited to offer the program again this year,” said Michelle Hawk, Administrator for Lebanon County Libraries, in a press release. “We’re especially grateful for all of the extra work that went into the program this year to make it compatible with pandemic safety procedures.”
The GO! program was established in York in 2008 as part of the Healthy York County Coalition’s Healthy Lifestyles Task Force. Today, the program additionally involves Adams, Lancaster, Lebanon and newly Franklin County this year.
WellSpan’s Community Partnership Grant Program sponsors the GO! program and the grants are given to nonprofit organizations that better the health of those in the communities that WellSpan aids.
For more information about the GO! Lebanon program, visit golebcounty.org.
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