"A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit friends the night before their fifth grade son, Johannes, participated in a speaking contest called 'I believe...' designed to help the fifth graders share something they were very passionate about.
Johannes spoke about the outdoors and I thought it was a pretty good speech, not just for a fifth grader, but for all of us. You can see him give his presentation here, or read the speech below:
"Have you ever been stressed or angry and you just want to go outside for as long as you want? Because I have.
That is why I believe in the power of Outdoors. The way outdoors suck you outside, like a vacuum sucking in dust.
I, Johannes Wiegand believe in the power of the outdoors. Whenever I go outside I feel happy, free, healthy, and confident. One day my dad said that we were going to a place we call Red Rocks in Boulder. Red Rocks is a rock-climbing place in Boulder. I had been going to Red Rocks since before I could even walk! My dad always said it was my playground.
We were going to help wounded veterans climb. I got super excited! Red Rocks is by far my most favorite place to climb and hike. My dad and I bring wounded veterans to the rocks to try to help them feel the same way I do about being in the outdoors.
After the thirty-minute drive, we finally got to red rocks. Once my dad parked the car, we literally jumped out of the car to start the mile hike up to the rocks.
Whenever I am actually on the rocks I feel as happy, free, and confident as any bird or fish.
Climbing helps me release all my sorrows or hardships. When I jump from rock to rock I feel weightless and energetic. When I am outside, the saddest part of my soul is released.
My point for this piece is go do something outside after you finish reading this, and remember to go always outside whenever you get the chance. That is why I believe in outdoors.
This I believe."
Johannes - 10 years Old | Lafayette Elementary School- 5th Grade
Johannes is also a pretty lucky kid, growing up in a great family that values the outdoors. You can learn more about his Dad's work here.