I can’t imagine President Obama has time to go camping with a naturalist right now, but maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea. There were certainly benefits to Theodore Roosevelt when, in 1903, he spent a few days camping with world famous naturalist John Muir. President Roosevelt came back even more committed to the the national parks and protecting the natural environment.
We’re still traveling around northern California and yesterday’s itinerary included a visit to Muir Woods. We had a perfect sunny day and had a great time craning our necks skyward to see the tops of the trees. In the children’s section of the Muir Woods bookstore I was especially pleased to see Ginger Wadsworth’s book, Camping with the President. I knew the book already because Carolyn Yoder, the book’s editor, is also the editor of my forthcoming biography of Hank Greenberg. While standing in the store, I flipped through Wadsworth’s book again, and it led me to imagine the Obama camping scenario.
It’s a wonderful book, one that I liked even better on my second read – and, of course, standing near the Redwood trees made it a perfect experience. There was a group of students in the shop, and it occurred to me that sharing this book with them would enrich their experience of this national treasure. I wish I could have sat down and read it with them right there.
One more thing: because I was unable to write my Three for Thursday post yesterday, here are the titles of three books about trees that I really love and use regularly at school:
Trouts are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre
A Tree is Nice by Janice Udry
One Small Square (Woods) by Donald Silver