Special event for Military Families June 8

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We are so excited to be participating in the Brushwood Center’s kickoff event for military families on June 8, 2024!

“Brushwood Center works collaboratively with community partners, artists, health care providers, and scientists to improve health equity and access to nature in Lake County, Illinois, and the Chicago region.”

While there are many programs that encourage kids to get outside in nature, very few focus on families with babies and young children. OutGrown specializes in bridging the baby nature gap, connecting families to nature from birth. We are excited to help extend the Brushwood Center's reach to serve a wider audience of military families.

If you are a military family and in the Greater Chicago area, be sure to check out the Military Kids Fest from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. to enjoy the beautiful trails of Ryerson Woods, art activities, games and food with us. We will bring our Footprints activity (sponsored by our partners at L.L. Bean), handouts, a Wander Walk adventure, and a baby carrier library to try on different types and sizes.

photo of young girl with magnifying glass by Jenn Canjar
Photo credit: Jenn Canjar

We know how important it is to find support and other families—your village—as you adapt to new surroundings and raise your kids while in the military. Events like this provide a great opportunity to try new things and find community in your new backyard.

Here’s what some of our military families have had to say about finding community with us over the years:

“I found Hike it Baby (now OutGrown) when I needed it most at our previous duty station. My husband was working super long hours, we had no family nearby, and I was desperately trying to get my son (who was 8 months old at the time) and myself out of the house. I struggled to find a community that felt like the right “fit” until I stumbled upon OutGrown. Everyone was so welcoming and non-judgmental! When we PCS’ed a few years later, I was happy to find a nearby branch at our new duty station, and it has provided an instant community full of wonderful people with similar interests for both my son and me. I’m not sure what we would have done without it!” ~Becca, Kitsap Peninsula, Washington Branch (Navy)

“It made it so easy to find friends with similar interests and lifestyles. My entire community here is built from OutGrown!” ~Heather, Colorado Springs, Colorado Branch (Air Force)

“In a duty station that wasn’t connected to a base... OutGrown gave me my first few friends and thus insight into a new location. It also got us out and about... no wallowing in despair here!” ~Jenyfer, Eugene, Oregon Branch (Navy)

Find a community near you at: https://weareoutgrown.org/find-your-community


Here's a little more about OutGrown:

We're a national, 501c3 nonprofit with over a decade of experience helping families get outside with their babies and young children. We believe it is critical to include and center families from birth because it is a crucial developmental time for both the infant and the parent, where we can create a life-long, multi-generational impact. We know that we protect what we love and we're helping families build a loving connection with the outdoors so they can value and protect it for generations to come. As a community-driven organization, we have been working with indigenous, Latine, BIPOC, immigrant & refugee, and rural families to co-design multilingual and culturally relevant solutions in our programming. Since its grassroots inception in 2013, OutGrown is a growing community of 280,000 families and over 300 volunteers. More information on all of our programs can be found at WeAreOutGrown.org.


Our Vision

We work toward a future of resilient and connected communities, both human and ecological, where all lead healthy and thriving lives.

Our Mission

Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods works collaboratively with community partners, artists, health care providers, and scientists to improve health equity and access to nature in Lake County, Illinois, and the Chicago region. We engage people with the outdoors through the arts, environmental education, and community action. Brushwood Center’s programs focus on youth, families, Military Veterans, and those facing racial and economic injustices. More information can be found at: https://www.brushwoodcenter.org/


We hope you enjoyed reading this article from OutGrown. We’re working hard to provide our community with content and resources that inform, inspire, and entertain you.

But content is not free. It’s built on the hard work and dedication of writers, editors, and volunteers. We make an investment in developing premium content to make it easier for families with young children to connect with nature and each other. We do not ask this lightly, but if you can, please make a contribution and help us extend our reach.

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