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The final school bell rings and summer vacation starts now. It’s the season for fun adventures, not the time to stay inside. Beat the heat by hitting the coolest spots in Wyoming. Head for the mountains, or take a splash in the refreshing creeks, rivers or lakes. Cram in as much summer fun as you can, because fall will be here quicker than a pronghorn at full speed.

Camp out: Summer nights are perfect for camping. Whether in the backyard, at a campground or in the backcountry, nothing connects you to the earth like an overnight on the ground. Sleep in a tent this summer. Spending the night in a camper or under the stars also counts.

Stoke a fire: One of the best parts of a camp-out is the campfire. The adults are in charge here, but settle in around the fire for some tales. Maybe even a ghost story if you’re extra brave. Make up your own tome to tell.

Flames for flavor: There is more to the fire than the comforting warmth. Think beyond the classics of hot dogs and marshmallows. What creative things will you cook over your campfire coals? Ham and cheese roll ups? A toasted peanut butter and jelly snack bite? Try roasting up some fruit chunks like pineapples or peaches.

Mud pie dessert: Mud pies are best made fresh. After a rain shower, scoop up some sloppy muck. Decorate your mud pie with nature sprinkles like birdseed, pine cones or even some tiny pebbles.

Among the wildflowers: From the earliest beauties of spring to the fall foliage, now is the time to enjoy nature’s bouquets. Make it a goal to find an entire rainbow of wildflowers this summer. Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.

Nest watch: While you never want to disturb any wildlife, from a distance it can be fun to watch birds as they come and go from a nest. Some species like American robins and many kinds of swallows will even nest on the side of your house or barn. It’s like you have a new family of roommates all summer long.

Fawns everywhere: Wobbly-legged youngsters spend their first few days bedded down and hiding, but by mid-summer, you’ll be able to see spotted baby deer scampering alongside mama.

Sky watch: Clear summer skies are perfect for stargazing, and the farther away from town you are, the better. Stay up late and watch the stars come out to shine. If the star you are looking at isn’t twinkling, it might not be a star at all. It could be a planet like Venus or Mars.

Garden harvest: Try planting a garden this summer. Hearty favorites include carrots and potatoes. Plant a pumpkin seed and grow your own Jack-o-lantern. Even if you have limited space, try planting a small container of basil or other herbs for fresh confetti pizza toppings.

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