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Free Vermont State Park Pass 

Last weekend, my family went on our annual Labor Day camping trip. I can't tell you where we went because I don't want everyone flocking to our awesome secret spot. Just trust me when I say that it's an amazing place we return to every year to regain some of our sanity, and remind ourselves that there's more to life than sitting in front of a computer screen. Or, at least, that's why I go there.

While we were there, we heard about the Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge. The parks people basically give you a list of activities, and ask you to fill out a check sheet — and take photos — to show that you've completed the items on the list.

Each item has a corresponding number of points. So, climbing a tree or boulder is 10 points, playing frisbee is 10 points, identifying an animal is 5 points, hiking a trail is 20 points, etc. When you get 250 points, you send them your checklist and your photos and they send you a free day pass to all Vermont State Parks for 2009 (and the rest of 2008)! How cool is that?

I wish I had known about this little contest sooner. The deadline is October 15, so you've still got time to play. Here are a couple photos that we took this weekend in our fabulous, undisclosed, state-owned location. The top one was taken just before sunrise. The bottom photo shows a family of loons.

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Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became... more

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