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Rock the Park
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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rock the Park is a fun way for families to experience some of the country's most beautiful sights within the national park system. Kids will enjoy the hosts' playful banter and enthusiasm for each new adventure, even as they (and parents) learn about each park's unique landscape and wildlife population. Some scenes show the hosts in mildly dangerous situations (kayaking amid a whale pod, for instance), but the show also spotlights some of the safety precautions they take specific to each new place. This series hopes to inspire families to get out and experience national parks firsthand, so with a little effort from you, it can open the door to wonderful adventures with your kids.
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What's the story?
In ROCK THE PARK, adventure guides Colton Smith and Jack Steward tour some of the country's most beautiful national parks, taking in the scenery and trying out some of the activities for which the areas are known. They observe native wildlife in their natural habitats, learn about the parks' geological history, and discover how nature is changing the face of each one even today, all on their quest to visit every national park in America. Often the guys step off the beaten path to take in scenes other tourists might miss, whether it's kayaking among whales or hiking to within reach of a moving glacier, and they encourage viewers to use their adventures as inspiration for their own.
Is it any good?
Rock the Park is an entertaining visual guide to some of the country's most awe-inspiring landscapes. Although the content certainly isn't groundbreaking, the show's appeal is thanks to the jovial hosts and their genuine boyish enthusiasm for each new adventure. Tagging along with Jack and Colton is more like following two fraternity brothers on an epic spring-break trip than getting a professional guided tour of the parks, but that makes it fun for all kinds of viewers. They're goofy, they laugh at their near-misses, and they imitate funny animal sounds for the camera, all of which bodes well for keeping kids' attention.
What's even better is that the guys aren't doing all this for themselves (although they're getting some pretty sweet adventures out of the deal). Their stated goal is to encourage you and your family to embark on outdoor journeys of your own, preferably in some of the very parks they visit. So grab your map to track their progress and settle in with the kids to be inspired by the guys' adventures before plotting the course for your family's adventures because, as Jack and Colton say, "If we can do it, so can you."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the parks the hosts visit. Are they near where you live? How are the animal populations and climates related to their geographical locations? What natural forces contributed to their creation?
What is the value of the national park system? Why is it important to conserve some of our natural landscape? What factors threaten wildlife and vegetation in other parts of the world? Why is that a problem?
Families can use this series to inspire their own outdoor journeys. What are some places you would like to visit? How far away are they? How would you get there? What famous landmarks are there? Why is screen-free time important?
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For kids who love the outdoors
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