Families looking to make great summer memories in Lebanon will have plenty of opportunity to do so, thanks to a reading and exercise program hosted by county libraries and parks.

The 2019 Lebanon Get Outdoors (GO) program of summer events has expanded into eastern Lebanon and now includes all libraries in the Lebanon County system, in addition to newly-added libraries in Ephrata and Adamstown.

The GO Lebanon! program seeks to encourage reading and exercise in county children and get them excited about both. It is a summer-long letterboxing event, in which families locate and mark hidden stamps in local parks. Last year, nearly 400 children participated in the program.

A typical letterboxing station, where visitors can imprint or etch the attached stamp into their collection. 15 stations like these can be found in various county parks, and it’s up to participants to locate them. (Quentin UK, Creative Commons)

Space exploration is the theme this year. Young space-farers can seek out 15 letterboxes in their local parks, using clues and navigational skills to find them, ultimately collecting as many as possible. As participants find additional letterboxes, they will learn about important developments in space exploration, find out about some great books to read, and, if they locate all 15, walk at least 17 miles in the process.

Head to your local public library to pick up the Sky Map guide, or visit the GO Lebanon! site directly. The Sky Map includes directions, activities, book recommendations, and information on the various markers that kids will find (e.g. Satellite, Apollo Missions, and so on).

Currently, there are two parks that are unavailable for the activity. The Union Canal Tunnel Park, which has suffered storm damage, is closed to the public. While Coleman Memorial Park is open, the trail leading to the letterbox is in bad condition. Participants are encouraged to wait until later in the summer to reach these parks.

Even just a few etchings will give participants an opportunity to win prizes: three etchings or more will land them a smaller prize, while four or more will offer them a chance at winning one of five grand prizes, which include tickets to the Sky Zone or Neag Planetarium in Reading, among others.

Families that take on the challenge are encouraged to share photos on the GO Lebanon! Facebook page. The page is also a useful place to check up on the status of parks in the program.

The space exploration theme includes recommendations on related books for budding astronauts and astronomers. (GO Lebanon!)

Here are additional upcoming events. Consult the GO Lebanon! Sky Map for park directions, parking spaces, and activity objectives; additional directions may be found at the GO Lebanon! downloads page.

  • Tuesday, June 18, at 6:00pm – family hike at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area on 100 Museum Drive, Stevens. Hosts: Myerstown and Richland Community Libraries. Children who complete the full hike will receive an extra grand prize drawing ticket.
  • Tuesday, June 25, at 6:00pm – family hike at Quittie Creek Nature Park on 536 Bachman Road, Annville. Host: Annville Free Library.
  • Tuesday, July 16, at 6:00pm – family hike at the Union Canal Tunnel Park on 25th St. and Union Canal Drive, Lebanon. Host: Lebanon Community Library. This event was previously scheduled for June 11 but due to storm damage at the park it has been rescheduled.
  • Saturday, September 14, at 4:00pm to 6:00pm – An end-of-summer celebration at Cleona Community Park, 251 S Garfield St., Cleona.

The program was created in 2008 and is sponsored by the Lebanon County Library System and WellSpan’s Community Partnership Grant Program.

Josh Groh is a Cornwall native and writer who began reporting for LebTown in 2019. He continued to regularly contribute to LebTown while earning a degree in environmental science at Lebanon Valley College, graduating in 2021. Since then, he has lead conservation crews in Colorado and taken on additional...


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