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“Share Your Story” Writing Contest for Outdoor Adventurists

March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022

The contest promotion period to submit stories will conclude on April 30, 2022.

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Recreation.gov has launched its second annual “Share Your Story” adventure writing contest, inviting all visitors of America’s federal public lands and waterways to submit stories detailing their experiences exploring and spending time in the great outdoors. Has your family enjoyed a recent outdoor adventure? The Share Your Story contest has a special category “Family Trips” where you can chronicle your family’s adventure for a chance to win great prizes and have your story featured on Recreation.gov. Experiences must have occurred between January 1, 2020 and April 30, 2022. Visitors can submit stories from now until April 30, 2022.

“When Recreation.gov first launched the ‘Share Your Story’ contest, we set out to learn how experiences in the outdoors helped visitors find peace, tranquility, or adventure during the first year of the pandemic, ” said Rick DeLappe, Program Manager at Recreation.gov. “We were blown away by the entries and to see so many inspiring and uplifting stories and we look forward to receiving more moments that made people smile while exploring the best the U.S. has to offer.”

Participants can submit up to two stories that fall into the following categories 1) Traditions (Old and New), 2) RV/Campervans, 3) Family Trips, and 4) Activities and Adventure.

A few of the 2021 stories included:

  • Keith Hood’s story, “Our Sleeping Bear Tradition,” described his family’s tradition of visiting Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore each year and their most recent visit in 2020 during the pandemic.
  • Sabrina Rankin’s story, “Family adventures,” also detailed her family’s camping tradition at federal parks.
  • Kerri Stephen’s story, “Let’s Take Two!” highlighted her children’s first and second camping trips.

Over the past two years, the great outdoors has brought feelings of peace, enjoyment, and togetherness with nature, family, or even new friends met along the trail. Participants can submit up to two stories that fall into the following categories 1) Traditions (Old and New), 2) RV/Campervans, 3) Family Trips, and 4) Activities and Adventure.

“Now at the two-year mark of the pandemic, the outdoors continues to provide comfort and solace,” said Eugenie Bostrom, Recreate Responsibly Coalition Manager. “Brought together by a love of the places that sustain us, our outdoor community continues to expand as more see the benefits of being in nature. The Recreate Responsibly Coalition, in collaboration with Recreation.gov, invites you to share your perspective and experiences of responsible and holistic outdoor recreation that range from seasoned family outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local parks for the first time.

As we reflect on the benefits that nature provides during challenging times, we can rely on storytelling to keep us connected and to provide comfort. In celebrating stories of outdoor adventures or peace-seeking in nature, we can see ourselves in each other and in the places that tie us together. The genesis of #RecreateResponsibly is to care for one another and for the places that we play or find solace, and we can share that through insightful and uplifting recollections of our experiences.”

To qualify, stories and any accompanying photos must have taken place between January 1, 2020 and April 30, 2022 and must be within the facilities of participating agencies: National Park Service; U.S. Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; National Archives; and NOAA Marine Sanctuaries.

Ready to share your own story? Submit it along with accompanying photos at recreation.gov/shareyourstory. Winners will be announced on or around May 15, 2022.

PRIZES

Participants can enter up to two stories during the contest period for a chance to be one of the total 29 winners of various prizes, including:

3 Grand Prize Winners 

  • The first Grand Prize Winner will receive $1,500 from REI.
  • The second Grand Prize Winner will receive a $1,000 from REI.
  • The third Grand Prize Winner will receive $500 from REI.
  • Additionally, each winner will receive an America the Beautiful – The National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass (referred to as the Interagency Annual Pass), providing access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country.

First Place Winners

  • Overall Category (4): Each winner will receive $300 from REI and an Interagency Annual Pass.

Runner Up Winners

  • Overall Category (4): Each winner will receive $150 from REI and an Interagency Annual Pass.

Monthly First Place Winners

  • Each winner (4) will receive $150 from REI and an Interagency Annual Pass.

Monthly Runner Up Winners

  • Each winner (4) will receive $100 from REI and an Interagency Annual Pass.

Honorable Mention Winners

  • Each winner (10) will receive branded gear from Recreation.gov.


Recreation.gov is a one-stop-shop for trip planning and reservations to explore and discover America’s outdoor and cultural destinations. Visitors can use the website or the Recreation.gov mobile app to make campsite reservations, secure permits, schedule tours, purchase passes and more for all federal lands and waters throughout the country. Find incredible places and experiences that help you bring home a story through Recreation.gov.

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