Did you know that the average American child only spends about 5 minutes playing outdoors each day? As someone who cherished her childhood spent building forts in the woods, playing sports in the backyard, taking trips to the beach, and biking around the neighborhood at every opportunity, this statistic deeply saddens me. Thankfully, there’s an organization striving to dramatically change that statistic, and a branch of it just started up in Baton Rouge! Hike it Baby is a non-profit organization dedicated to building communities that support getting outside with children. With Hike it Baby Baton Rouge, you’ll spend quality time outdoors with your family, make new friends, and learn more about the parks and trails our amazing city has to offer.
What is a “HIKE?”
The term “hike” is used VERY loosely! It refers to any event hosted by Hike it Baby, whether it be a playground date, a stroller walk through the city, or an actual nature hike in the woods. (Though, let’s be realistic about our terrain here in Baton Rouge; there is very little true hiking to be found!) Through Hike it Baby, you’ll find a variety of outdoor activities all across the greater Baton Rouge area. Sometimes the hikes are adult-paced, sometimes they’re led by exploring toddlers, and sometimes it’s just too hot for anything but a few relaxing hours at the splash pad.
Who Can Attend?
Hike it Baby is open to anyone with a child in their life – moms, dads, grandparents and extended family members, nannies, babysitters, and friends. If you love being outside with the child(ren) in your life, you’ll love Hike it Baby! Our main mantra of “no hiker left behind” ensures that each person who attends a hike feels safe and included. If you need to stop during a hike to change a diaper, feed your baby, deal with a toddler meltdown, or simply to rest, we all stop with you and lend a helping hand if needed.
How Does It Work?
Hike it Baby relies on a huge team of volunteers to run each branch (there are over 300 worldwide!) and the non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Each branch has between one and five Branch Ambassadors; these are your local team leaders who host hikes, promote Hike it Baby in your area, and administer the Facebook group. One of the best things about Hike it Baby is that anyone can host a hike; you simply choose the time and place that works for your family, submit the details to the calendar, and have fun on your hike!
How Do I Sign Up?
First, visit us online to register and view the full calendar of events. When you register online, you’ll automatically be enrolled in a 90-day free trial to check us out and start going on hikes with us. If you decide to sign up for a membership, it’s just $10 per year, and scholarship options are available simply by asking. Members receive access to the calendar of hikes, an opportunity to participate in quarterly challenges to motivate your family to get outside, special discounts from partnering brands, and connection with families across the world. Most importantly, members support Hike it Baby as we work to advocate for getting families out into nature.
If you use Facebook, you can join the Hike it Baby group to connect with your local community of hikers, whether or not you’ve signed up for a membership on the website. That’s where we’ll have discussions about our hikes, post reminders, and share photos of all the fun. It’s a great place to ask questions and learn more about how Hike it Baby works.
Once you’ve registered and found a hike you want to attend, you simply show up at the designated meeting time and place. We know that kids and their schedules are unpredictable, so there’s no need to worry about an RSVP.
Who is your Baton Rouge Branch Ambassador?
I’m Lindsay, and my hiking buddy is my 2.5-year-old son, Graham. Though my husband and I are native New Yorkers, we just moved to Baton Rouge from Houston, TX, where we had been living for the past eight years. Hike it Baby was a huge part of my life there; I met so many wonderful families and learned invaluable life lessons by being outside nearly every day with my son. I’m really excited to bring the fun to Baton Rouge! I can’t wait to see you out there!
Lindsay is mom to 2.5-year-old Graham, an outdoor-loving, vehicle-obsessed little boy. She and her husband both grew up in New York, met in college, and lived in Houston for eight years before recently relocating to Baton Rouge. When she has down time she loves to read, bake, play tennis, and relax outside.