Family fun in the sun at Greenbrier State Park

July 12, 2012|By MyLinh Hoang |
  • Luke Fair enjoys the cool water at Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro. The park offers many activities for families.
Photos by Yvette May/Staff Photographer

Planning activities to keep the kids occupied can be a little bit challenging, but it doesn't have to be.

Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro is open during the summer and there are various activities for children of all ages.

Park ranger Dan Spedden said state parks pride themselves in being very family-oriented, family-friendly with a family campground.

"Our prices are low, we keep the place clean, well-managed and it attracts family and that's what exactly we're all about," he said.

 Spedden said the most popular activity at the park is swimming.

"Our beach is always guarded which is a big confidence-builder for parents who want to bring their kids here and swim in the lake," he said.

 Spedden  added that the park is well-staffed and well-patrolled.

 "If you come to our beach, you're going to notice the lifeguards have a serious presence there," he said.

 Spedden said the most popular question in the summertime, "Is the lake water clean?"

"It's tested every week," he said. "The health department gets our results. The water quality is excellent. There's no risk in bringing your kids here to swim."

Lynn Wilson, 57, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., took her grandkids to the park because they like to play in the water and the sand.

"They like being able to be at the beach, but not being knocked down by the waves," Wilson said. "So it's a little different than when you go to an actual ocean beach. They can have more fun here being their age of 5 and 6." 

Some teenagers like a break from playing video games and opt for some fun in the sun, like 14-year-old Nadia Mueller of Gerrardstown, W.Va.

"I like coming to the beach for the fresh air and I like making things with sand," Mueller said.

There are also programs for families to take part in like the Maryland Park Service's Park Quest program, which is a summer-long program that engages family time in different parks throughout Maryland.

Registration opened in May and maxed out within a few hours, but those who are interested can still participate via information on the website, quest/index.asp.

"It's 23 physical quests and at each quest that we go through in Maryland, there are different activities that we get to do, said Saleena DeVore, 34, of Frederick, Md., who is one of many parents participating in the program. "They range from different hikes, puzzle quests where we have to figure out clues, tree identification, canoeing, letterboxing and more."

DeVore said all of the quests are designed for families and it doesn't make a difference how old or small your children are. She said her children, ages 3 and 5, are about to do the Quest program comfortably.

"It's a lot of fun, it's a great activity to get outdoors with your kids even if you're just going to do a couple of them," she said. "We've taken full advantage of it and the kids love being outdoors."

Spedden said he talks to people quite often who say this is their favorite place.

"When you hear that, you think, 'What an enormous responsibility you have now,'" he said. "You can't let them down. They have an expectation here, year after year, that we have to meet."

Quick facts       

Greenbrier State Park

21843 National Pike, Boonsboro

Open 8 a.m. to sunset, seven days a week

Park offers swimming, fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking and more.

For more information, call 301-791-4767 or go to www.dnr.state brier.asp

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