Do You Have A Sense Of Wonder?

Reconnect with your sense of WONDER about nature!

Who? What? When? Where? Why?
* Who lives in this hole/tree/den/lake/puddle/river?
* What do those clouds look like? What might be some of that plant’s uses?
* When were these tracks left? When did Native Americans live here?
* Where might be the best place to sit to watch animals?
* Why? Why? Why? Why do YOU think the sky is blue?

Open Eyes/Observations
* Using ALL of your senses, describe what you see, hear, feel, smell, taste around you – share different perspectives, learn what others observe.
* Imagine you are a bird/imagine you are an ant/imagine you were here 100 years ago/imagine you’ll be back in 50 years/what is it like?what do you see?
* Silent hike/silent sit/focus on the sounds you hear, both natural and human-made–draw a sound tapestry.

Nature Nuggets
* The dust in aspen trees has an SPF of 4; female deer and elk eat the bark before they give birth because it contains vitamin K, a blood thickener.
* Porcupines don’t throw their quills, they spin their backsides around quickly and swing their prickly tails at their attackers.
* Yucca plants have a single, specific moth that pollinates them.
* Lightning CAN strike the same place twice – and does!
*One wild rose hip has more vitamin C than an orange.
*Beavers can chew down a 5-inch diameter willow in three minutes.

Deep Thoughts/Deep Questions
* How would life be different if we didn’t have nature?
* What do you love most about being outdoors? What do you like least?
* What do you think people will discover in your lifetime?

* What can you do to protect the environment? What do you already do?
* How can you teach your family and friends about the natural world?

* What was your best interaction with nature today?
* How are you connected with the natural world?
* Take a nap, rest, think, write, draw, play outside every day – how does that make you feel?
(Adapted from “Nature Assessment System” by Sanborn Western Camps, in Florissant, Colorado)

Related Stories: 

Conserving Nature to Protect our Health

Cancer Survivor: Save the Species that Saved My Life

Playing in the Dirt Could Make Kids Smarter

Photo credit: Noel Molland


Elisa Faulkner- Uriarte
Elisa F4 years ago

Wonderful things to Ponder :) Thanks.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

Surprised to see an article about wonder, instead of some awful thing going on in the world.

Yes, I have a sense of wonder. In fact, friends of mine, comment that I get excited over things they overlook. I think one just has to LOOK (and smell and hear) -- if you look, like a child would see for the first time, one's life is awe-filled.

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago

Yes. I strongly believe having a sense of wonder is one of the keys to enjoying life and appreciating all that it has to offer.

Ariella R.
Ariella R.7 years ago

I am so pleased to see that our Nature Assessment System seems to speak to so many caring, thoughtful individuals.

Judy, I am a teacher as well--and when I created this tool I was hoping to share the some of the "art of questioning" which excellent educators seem to do so magnificently with our college-aged staff.

I hope you all will use this in your classrooms, share it with parents, your readers, and your own families. Getting kids to reconnect with their sense of wonder in the natural is an integral part of childhood--and one that is being lost.

If you have a chance, I would also encourage you to learn about the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act which was recently introduced to the House. Visit to sign on to a letter of support.

Also, we try and post great outdoor activities, information, and fun updates on the Sanborn Western Camps blog and Facebook page, so I encourage you to join me in those forums as well.

Happy New Year to one and all!

Ariella Rogge
Associate Director
Sanborn Western Camps

Francesca Doria
Past Member 7 years ago

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”
Albert Einstein

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal7 years ago

We all have a sense of seems we just become desensitized and need to step back once in a while and notice what we miss.

Kerry S.
Kerry S7 years ago

Great post! I think it's very important to be in touch with our natural surroundings.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W7 years ago

The answer is 'yes'.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W7 years ago