Welcome to the Nature Pen Pal Exchange program! We are excited to have you here! Below are the details of what this program is, who it’s for, and how it works…
What is Nature Pen Pal Exchange (NPPE)?
NPPE is a program in which families or nature groups get paired up with another family or nature group (your assigned pen pals) from somewhere across the U.S.A. and we are also now open for Canada! We then exchange nature treasures found on their nature excursions throughout the current season (winter, spring, summer, or fall). Everyone receives new pen pals for each season participating.
Who can participate in NPPE?
Families with children/youth/teens are able to participate in these seasonal exchanges. In addition, we offer these exchanges for nature groups/clubs as well. If you lead a nature group/club for families with children/youth/teens, your group will be able to exchange with other groups.
How NPPE Program Works
Families or groups can sign up for any season they would like to participate in. Whether your family or group would like to participate in one, two, or all four seasons throughout the year, you get to choose. There is no requirement to participate in all. There is a small fee per family and per group to participate in each season.
There will be a deadline to sign up to participate in an exchange and because other families or groups will be depending on and looking forward to receiving their pen pal’s treasures, it is a commitment once you are registered and we have reached our deadline for sign-ups for the season. That way no family or group gets left without a nature pen pal.
Your family or group will have approximately 8 weeks in the season to collect items (treasures) found on your outings (hikes, nature walks, vacations, backyard, etc.). Then you would mail your items to your nature pen pal by the week after the end of the season. It’s so much fun and like “Christmas” getting your nature exchanges in the mail!
There will be a guide provided that will list what can or cannot be sent in these exchanges, how to package and send your items, as well as other fun ideas.
The benefits of joining our nature pen pal exchange are many! Not only are you able to get out each season with your family or group to spend time outdoors and learn more about the treasures you find to send to your pen pals, but you will also have the opportunity to learn more about nature in different regions of our country and see both the similarities and differences with yours. In addition, many lasting friendships can come from these exchanges.
Registration for each new season will be announced here on our website and on our Instagram and Facebook pages. However, our email community will be the very first to hear about each exchange and any updates so we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter so that you can be the first to hear about it all.
We are thrilled that you have stopped by and hope you and your family will be joining us soon for our next exchange.
Jen & Tim Wilmoth