Story Booth: The Great Outdoors

Showcase: The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors is a collection of stories from youth and young adults about their experiences going outside and spending time in nature. Being outdoors takes on a variety of meanings in this dynamic collection of personal narratives and fresh perspectives.

Thank you to our youth contributors! This project wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Minnesota State Arts Board and partnerships with Bethune Arts Elementary, Mississippi River Green Team, and Lake Country School.

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  • All Capsule Stories
  • Bethune Arts Elementary
  • Lake Country School
  • Mississippi River Green Team

Chouamon // Age 16

“The outdoors open many opportunities to me and give me lots of time to think to myself.”

Octavia // 4th grade

“There are different types of flowers and that’s the best part. Like people each one is unique.”

Takarionia // 4th grade

“Dear nature can you pick a weather? One day you’re raining and the next it’s sunny. Please pick one.”

Claire // 6th grade

“Spring flowers blooms blossom.
Baby birds trip for their food.
Sunshines and snow melts.”

Wellan // 4th grade

“The trees were very pretty as the wind blew through their leaves, and we climbed up the steep hill.”

Najohn // 4th grade

“Dear nature, I love climbing on your trees. I love doing parkour in the forest.”

Dezarae // 4th grade

“I like to ride my bike outside because it feels refreshing, fun and adventurous.”

Fritz // 5th grade

“When we finished that trail, we decided to grab some lemonade because we were very hot, even though it was only 75 degrees out.”

Sabine // 4th grade

“At the ocean, we play in the waves, and we look for jellyfish and sand dollars and crabs.”

Rose // Age 16

“Sometimes if I like lay outside in the winter, it’s too quiet. I can and I hear my own heartbeat.”

Olivia // 4th grade

“I was on a hike outdoors and my sister was behind all of us. But somehow she got to the top before all of us.”

Isabel // Age 20

“I take those simple steps outside on my first walk in months and I see everything that nature provides and I breathe in the fresh air and I know that I’m going to be okay.”

Liam // 6th grade

“We went through the woods. A small hill came up and it was pretty steep. I was the last person to do it. And I was scared.”

Billy // Age 14

“When you set your hook and you finally catch a fish and you can feel the adrenaline pumping through your body.”

Mia // Age 19

“Earlier this year, I determined that I would live by a phrase I’d stumbled upon: be where your feet are.”

Gailthavhan // Age 17

“I love the flowers, the smell of flowers when going through gardens. I love the bees buzzing around those flowers.”

Olivia // 5th grade

“We were walking for three hours. We saw deer, we saw birds. And then right in front of me, there was a huge snake.”

Maya // Age 14

“I was just peacefully sitting trying to eat my blueberry muffin and a seagull stole my muffin out of my hand.”

Jeriah // 5th grade

“My favorite sport is basketball. I have a hoop on my garage, so I can get to practice a lot.”

Kenna // 12th grade

“We walked out in a very crowded urban area and there’s just a peacock walking in like the one plot of grass.”

Rashad // 11th grade

“When I go out and I see a plant by myself, I can identify it without having to search it up or anything.”

Francois // 4th grade

“We heard that there is a river nearby, so we decided to try swimming. When we got there, the water was very cold, but we got used to it.”

Charlie // Age 15

“Something I did this summer was going to the Mississippi River to catch dragonflies.”

Asia // 4th grade

“One time, we were having a birthday pool party next door with a jumpy house. My brother went to down the slide so fast, he fell off.”

Elinor // 12th

“Nights were warm but not sweltering and clear, marked with hours spent around a campfire or at the center of boat, listening to country and rock music from crackly speaker.”

Ahmed // Age 14

“The dog looked at me and started chasing me. And I ran. Keep in mind, I play soccer as well. So I ran really fast.”

Noah // Age 18

“I trudged through the curb with a water spilling over my boots. I looked down and saw leaves roaring through the water.”

Eli // 5th graede

“It was in winter and it was very cold out but we were very excited to go skiing.”

Miles // 6th grade

“I walk outside. I see a bee pollinating a flower. My feet are crushing the leaves on the ground. Now crab apples. I take a big deep breath of fresh air.”

Allison // 12th grade

“It just made me happy knowing that after a long day of school, I would be able to spend some time outside.”

Ingrid // 5th grade

“When I get to go outside, I feel like a bird that was just let out of its cage.”

Basanti // Educator

“Sun rays battle with frost dusted winds and small green buds are eager to emerge from underneath the cold and cracked, sometimes even snow dusted earth.”

Partnership Organizations

We partnered with Minneapolis Park & Recreation to work with a group of upper elementary school storytellers and their beautiful stories at Bethune Arts Elementary in the Heritage Park neighborhood. You might notice that the sound quality is impacted by the school environment- this is a true representation of a bustling learning environment and makes this collection of stories particularly authentic and meaningful.

The students at LCS have a rural campus—The Land School—which augments their urban environment in the Kingfield neighborhood, connecting them with hands-on learning experiences in nature.. The Wildling spent three days with a multi-age classroom at Lake Country Montessori crafting their stories about The Great Outdoors.

The Mississippi River Green Team is a two-year employment and conservation program for Minneapolis youth between the ages of 14 and 16. The MWMO and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board created the Green Team as an opportunity for youth to have a mentored job experience, learn about environmental careers, and acquire new skills. We had the pleasure of working with the Green Team to develop and record stories related to their work and life outside of this experience.


Story Booth is the fiscal year 2023 recipient of a Creative Support for Organizations grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.