Recreation.gov announced the launch of its inaugural “Share Your Story” contest, which allows participants to submit stories and photos from now through April 30, 2021 highlighting their recent outdoor adventures for a chance to win great prizes and have their story featured on Recreation.gov.
“This past year, visitors used Recreation.gov to find and book trips where they found solace exploring and spending time outdoors,” said Rick DeLappe, Program Manager at Recreation.gov. “People across the nation were eager to get outside and experience nature in a whole new way. Now Recreation.gov wants to hear your stories of finding peace, tranquility or adventure during 2020 – whether it was a hike in a local forest or a weekend by the campfire, a first-time experience or an adventure you’ve enjoyed over the years.”
Participants can submit stories that fall within at least one of six categories, including Traditions (Old and New), Reflection Journeys, RV/Campervans, Family or Group Travel, Activities and Adventure, and Best Time Ever.
“Finding ways to spend time outdoors has been critical for individuals and communities during this public health crisis,” said Eugenie Bostrom, Recreate Responsibly Coalition Manager. “As we reflect on the benefits that nature provides during challenging times, we can rely on storytelling to keep us connected and to provide comfort. In celebrating stories of outdoor adventures or peace-seeking in nature, we can see ourselves in each other and in the places that tie us together. The genesis of #RecreateResponsibly is to care for one another and for the places that we play or find solace, and we can share that through insightful and uplifting recollections of our experiences.”
Participants can enter up to two stories during the contest period for a chance to be one of the total 33 winners of various prizes, including:
- Three Grand Prize Winners: The first Grand Prize Winner will receive $2,500 from an outdoor retailer, the Second Grand Prize Winner will receive a $1,500 from an outdoor retailer and the third Grand Prize will receive $1,000 from an outdoor retailer. Additionally, each winner will receive an America the Beautiful (ATB) pass.
- Six Overall Category First Place Winners: Each winner will receive $300 from an outdoor retailer and an ATB pass.
- Six Overall Category Second Place Winners: Each winner will receive $150 from an outdoor retailer and an ATB pass.
- Four Monthly First Place Winners: Each winner will receive $150 from an outdoor retailer and an ATB pass.
- Four Monthly Second Place Winners: Each winner will receive $100 from an outdoor retailer and an ATB pass.
- Ten Honorable Mention Winners: Each winner will be awarded Recreation.gov branded gear.
Stories and accompanying photos must have taken place between January 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 and must be within the facilities of participating agencies: National Park Service; U.S. Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; National Archives; NOAA Marine Sanctuaries.
The contest promotion period to submit stories will conclude on April 30, 2021. Winners will be announced May 15, 2021.
Contest entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges selected by the Administrator and will be rated on the stories submitted only; photographs will not be included in the judging process. For each Contest phase, stories will be judged based on the following criteria: 1) the originality and creativity of the story; 2) the clarity and organization of the story composition; 3) the content of the story and its appropriateness for the category against which it was submitted; and 4) whether the story showcases the best of America’s recreational opportunities. Each of the criteria will be given equal consideration.