The days of kids playing outside ‘til sundown have long been a thing of the past, with children in recent decades gravitating more and more towards phones, video games, and social media to occupy their free time. As a result, kids have been losing touch with nature, but thankfully a major initiative is underway to get young people back into the great outdoors: The U.S. Forest Service has hidden a single Rolo somewhere in America’s forests for anyone to claim.
Awesome! Let’s get kids off the couch and back into nature!
The U.S. Forest Service’s official Facebook page announced the treasure hunt earlier today with a post reading, “193 million acres. One delicious Rolo. Zero clues. Get out there and #findtherolo!” It included an image of a single unwrapped Rolo sitting amidst moss and leaves in an unspecified forest somewhere in the continental U.S. The Rolo, still looking delicious and completely undisturbed by insects and wildlife, is sure to inspire thousands of kids nationwide to trek out into remote, rugged terrain with no cell coverage or access to clean drinking water in hopes of being the lucky one who finds the chocolatey treat.
Based on the comments the post has generated, plenty of eager adventurers are already heading out Rolo-hunting expeditions. One child commented, “The Rolo looks good. There’s some national forest land 200 miles from my house. I’ll see if my dad will drop me off after school on Friday.” Another child posted a selfie of himself loaded up with a massive pack and a canister of bear spray on his hip with the comment, “Any way of narrowing down where the Rolo is based on topography, type of forest, climate, etc?” to which the Forest Service replied, “No.”
While the vast majority of the kids who head out into the woods won’t be lucky enough to actually find the Rolo, and some unfortunate explorers might get injured or even die due to a lack of survival skills, the fact is that everyone who chooses to embark on this adventure will come away with a deep appreciation of nature—a reward more valuable than all the Rolos in the world. And with our planet in peril, we need the next generation to care about protecting nature, and there’s no doubt that searching for a single Rolo hidden somewhere in America’s 193 million acres of federal forest land will turn countless young people into passionate naturalists. Kudos to the U.S. Forest Service for motivating our nation’s kids to spend less time with their phones and more time with Mother Nature.