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Interactive outdoor hiking and reading scavenger hunt returns in central Pennsylvania

The Get Outdoors (GO!) program will kick off Tuesday, June 6 across Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties.
Family First with FOX43: `Hike-It Baby` gives families nature, nurture

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Let the scavenger hunt begin! 

For the 16th straight summer, WellSpan and local libraries across south-central Pennsylvania are launching an interactive outdoor scavenger hunt designed to exercise the body and mind. 

The Get Outdoors (GO!) program will kick off Tuesday, June 6 across Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties.  This year's theme is "All Together Now," emphasizing the importance of connecting with one another and nature. 

New this year, participants will find QR codes at each scavenger hunt location that links to a mental wellness tip that can be completed right in the moment.

“Mental health is important and shouldn’t be treated as separate from our physical well-being. It’s all connected. We know that when mental and emotional states are at peak levels, the challenges of life can be easier to overcome,” said Sandra Gladfelter, health education coordinator lead for WellSpan Health. “We’ve designed this year’s program around how to better cope with life stressors.”

Also new this year, efforts are being made to increase accessibility with an urban trail established near Keystone Kidspace in York and several parks and trails included specifically for their wheelchair and stroller accessibility. 

The scavenger hunt works with participants following written clues from a guidebook called the Friendship Journal to locate hidden wooden connector posts to match this year's theme. 

There are 15 (excluding York County, where there are 30) wooden posts with a unique etching attached. Once participants find the connector and the etching with the corresponding code, the code can be logged online into a digital app called Beanstack to receive credit for the hike. 

There will be a chance to win prizes once the program concludes in August. 

It's encouraged for participants to share photos of their GO! hunts and offer tips, via the program's county-by-count Facebook pages. 

For country-specific information, visit your county's GO! program website, which are as follows: 

Each dedicated GO! website includes direction to parks, information on prizes and clues to find the wooden posts. 

To pick up a guidebook (also called a Friendship Journal) and a rubbing sheet to record discoveries, head to your local library. The information can also be downloaded on each of the GO! websites. 

The program aims to address mental health for all ages by increasing opportunities for families and individuals to engage in physical activity, exploration of state and local parks and trails in each county. Another goal of the program is to help decrease childhood obesity while addressing summer reading loss among school-aged children.

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