For young people there are many safe, easy and immensely pleasurable opportunities. Children can experience the ecstasy of water every summer. The very young are initiated by playing with sand at our tiny beaches, then wading into one of the lakes. They graduate to floating and swimming in our heated pool. Older ones can practice mastery of swimming, canoeing and bicycling; or the pleasurable work of learning tennis, and even golf, with instruction and no pressure.
But the greatest pleasure for the young may be in encountering and learning from the woodlands that surround us. There are many expert naturalists here to teach us about the natural glories that abound here. Night sounds are prominent and there is little light except the moon. We hear noisy evening insects, perhaps a hooting owl, a haunting whippoorwill, or maybe a howling coyote.
On day hikes along the leafy miles of trails, there are hundreds of species of plants to learn about—ferns, native wildflowers, ground pine, ground cedar, mosses and lichens, pitcher plants by the lakes; the great trees, and thousands of large laurel and rhododendron. We have so many birds—the pileated woodpecker, the kingfisher, even an occasional great blue heron, osprey or eagle, hundreds of migrating warblers, bluebirds on the golf course. Sherwood Forest is a small world of beauty and mystery, and wildness, which we can walk within, which we can name but not tame. And if we are lucky, in mid-May, we can see across the forest floor the blue ghost fireflies. There is so much wonder here, and so many knowledgeable people to help us know it.