GO WilMa! 2022: Celebrating 10 Years of Outdoor Adventures

GO WilMa Field Guide Cover 2022
PRPS-Award-Winner

GO WilMa! is a Statewide Excellence in Recreation and Parks Program!

GO WilMa! is a summer outdoor adventure program that stands for Get Outside 'round Willistown and Malvern. The program was created and is spearheaded by the Willistown Parks & Recreation Department.

Willistown Parks & Recreation is delighted that GO WilMa!  received an Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS). PRPS is a statewide organization that promotes quality recreation and park training, networking, and leadership opportunities. It is a membership organization comprised of parks an recreation professionals, educators, and volunteers. The Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award recognizes programs that demonstrate outstanding quality, innovation, range and value of appeal, community support, promotions and publications, and efficient use of funding.

GO WilMa! is free to area residents and Malvern or Paoli Library patrons. It is funded by Willistown Township.

GoWilMa Logo

Get Outside ’round Willistown and Malvern = GO WilMa! 

GO WilMa! is an exciting and entertaining summer outdoor adventure program that encourages children throughout the Willistown and Malvern region and patrons of the Malvern and Paoli Libraries to explore the natural and historic treasures of our area through a series of scavenger hunts. There are no residency requirements. Kids and their families and friends participate on their own schedule throughout the summer. Children earn a GO WilMa! patch similar to those earned by Boy and Girl Scouts for completing 6 outdoor adventures.  

GO WilMa! combines parks and recreation, health and wellness, reading, and lots of fresh air fun. Exploring the natural and historic treasures of our area also brings families, friends, and our community together lifting spirits and delivering smiles. GO WilMa! is one of the wonderful happenings that makes our community so special...join in the adventure!

Email Mary Hundt with any inquiries or feedback. Sign up in person at Malvern or Paoli Library to receive your Field Guide. Please scroll down for more information and this year's theme.

The GO WilMa! Programming Partners 
Thank you libraries! 

Spearheaded by Willistown Parks and Recreation, the GO WilMa! Program Team includes:

A cartoon image of children playing musical instruments on a grass field with a rainbow in the back

Special Thanks and Kudos

Special Thanks to the Healthy York County Coalition's GO York program, Go Outdoors York County (goyork.org), for sharing their inspiration and upon which GO WilMa! is based. 

Kudos to Kevin A. Alvarnaz, the mastermind behind the GO York program of WellSpan Health (Wellspan Website).

Funding: There is no fee for GO WilMa!, as the program is provided by Willistown Township.

GO WilMa! 2022: Celebrating 10 Years of Outdoor Adventures!
A new theme each year

GO WilMa! stands for “Get Outside around Willistown and Malvern!” Our summertime outdoor adventure program makes reading, learning, and being outside fun for our community’s children—and the adults have a ball too! Inspired by and modeled after the Healthy York County Coalition’s “Get Outdoors York” program, this year GO WilMa!

Time really does fly when you’re having fun—we’re celebrating a decade of GO WilMa! community outdoor adventuring in the many wonderful natural, historic, and recreation destinations of our area. At Willistown Parks and Recreation, we endeavor to foster healthy minds, bodies, and spirits through our parks and programs,. We strive to encourage a love of being outdoors and a connection to nature by creating lasting, happy memories there. GO WilMa! epitomizes our mission. Let’s Get Outside together! Kids will earn Summer Quest badges much like those awarded in the Boy and Girl Scout programs.

This season’s GO WilMa! is dedicated to the past 10 years of fun in the sun. We are honoring these memories by celebrating our themes throughout the years, all rooted in the wonder and joy we find in nature with our families and friends.

The Inspiration Stations include a rubbing post with an etching on top where the kids “stamp” their Field Guides. Then it’s back to the library where participants receive raffle tickets for each Inspiration Station stamp they have earned. Our adventurers will earn a GO WilMa! patch by adventuring to 6 of our 18 of our destinations and locating the Inspiration Stations there. Sign up in person at Malvern or Paoli Library to receive your Field Guide. Guides are not available online, are copyrighted, and are not to be reproduced.

Our highest annual enrollment was 850 GO WilMa! explorers. Over the years, we have entertained thousands of adventurers who have taken their friends and families out and about in our local parks and special places throughout the summer. If you haven’t tried it yet, join the fun! If you are returning, welcome back!

Please head to the bottom of this page for special thanks from Mary, our Director of Parks and Recreation.

Sign me up!
Registration & Program Duration & Fee

 Register @ Malvern or Paoli Library to receive your Field Guide beginning at the Willistown Parks & Rec School’s Out—Let’s GO WilMa! Park Party June 21 @ Greentree Park from 5-8pm. Sign-up in person thereafter at Malvern or Paoli Library to receive your Field Guides throughout the summer. 

You can Get Outside ’round Willistown and Malvern (GO WilMa!) through  August 19 which is the last day for you to submit your Stamp Collections to the libraries to be entered into the prize raffle. 

There is no participation fee for GO WilMa!, as the program is funded is Willistown Township.

Who Can Participate?

GO WilMa! is not just for Willistown and Malvern residents. Area residents and patrons of Malvern and Paoli Libraries are welcome! There are no residency requirements. Sign up in person at Malvern or Paoli Library to receive your Field Guide.

How to Play

Remember, the adventure begins when summer starts!

Here’s how the GO WilMa! Outdoor Adventure Program works: 

  1. Stations(rubbing posts) are located in parks, along trails, and at special sites in and around Willistown Township, Malvern Borough, East Goshen Township, and East Whiteland Township. Each year the Inspiration Station locations change, so the adventure is always new.
  2. Your job is to find as many of the Stations as possible by following clues in the Field Guide provided at registration. Each Station links to a page in your Field Guide, where, once you locate the Station you’ll use a crayon or side of a pencil to rub the etching in the space provided in your Stamp Collection, "stamping" your guide.
  3. Submit your photos and stories to Mary 
  4. Submit your Stamp Collections to Malvern and Paoli Libraries along the way or you can wait until you've had your last adventure and then head in for your raffle tickets to enter our prize drawing.
  5. Like Willistown Parks and Recreation GO WilMa! on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for Willistown Parks and Recreation Enews here for important updates, announcements, and fun!

Prizes & Rewards

Your Field Guide Stamp Collections will entitle you to receive chances to win some great adventures and fun prizes! 

  1. Each rubbing entitles a participant to a prize drawing raffle ticket, the more Stations you find—the higher your chances of winning a prize!
  2. Each adventurer who gets to 6 stations will receive a GO WilMa! carabiner and patch provided by Willistown Parks & Rec and distributed by the libraries when you submit your Stamp Collections.The prize raffle will be held at the Willistown Country Fair on August 23, rain date 25 at 6pm. You do not need to be present to win.

Inspiration Stations
Thank you, Station hosts!

Each year the Station locations change so the adventure is always new and exciting. Special thanks go to the following community Station hosts for participating in GO WilMa! 

Program Inspiration & Benefits

Your kids can easily glean the benefits of our GO WilMa! program—as can you. It’s all about getting outside in the fresh air with friends and family for good, old-fashioned fun!

Willistown Parks and Recreation endeavors to foster healthy minds, bodies, and spirits by encouraging a love of being outdoors and a connection to nature through creating lasting, happy memories there. GO WilMa! fits the bill!

Program Goals

The goals of GO WilMa! include:

  • Promoting physical activity
  • Promoting parks, open space, historic and community treasures in Willistown Township, Malvern Borough, East Goshen Township and East Whiteland Township
  • Promoting reading
  • Promoting curiosity about the natural world
  • Promoting health/fitness/wellness—in other words, encouraging healthy lifestyles through fun!
  • Celebrating community

Some Things to Remember

  • Make sure that you take your Field Guide and a crayon or pencil for the rubbing.
  • Always remember to be respectful of parks and trails, the outdoors, and people around you!
  • The parks, trails, and special sites are open dawn to dusk unless otherwise noted in the Field Guide.
  • The program begins when school lets out for the summer and ends August 15!

Liability Release & Safety

All Participants Assume the Liability Release

I will abide by all current CDC and PA Department of Health COVID-19 requirements and I understand that, by participating in the GO WilMa! outdoor adventure program, I will be engaging in physical activities that involve risks of being outdoors, from the activity itself, from the acts of others, or from the unavailability of emergency services or emergency medical care on site. Such risks may include: property damage; bodily injury, and; possible death. By participating in the GO WilMa! program, I understand that I assume these risks and hereby release the GO WilMa! programming partner organizations and their employees, volunteers and elected representatives and the property owners where the Inspiration Stations are located from any claims, losses, liabilities, expenses or judgments, including legal fees and court costs arising out of my participation in the GO WilMa! program.

Safety

Every outdoor activity, including scavenger hunting, has some risks and dangers. You could get hurt, meet up with wild animals and bugs, and touch poisonous plants. Here are a few reminders as you hunt for Inspiration Stations with other GO WilMa! adventurers this summer:

  • Abide by all CDC and PA Department of Health COVID-19 recommendations and wear a mask if unable to maintain a social distance of 6’ while on your GO WilMa! Adventures
  • Be familiar with the area where you are headed before getting there. 
  • Make sure to follow all posted park rules.     
  • Be respectful of the environment and of others around you.    
  • Never hike alone! If you are heading out with a friend, always make sure a responsible adult knows where you will be.    
  • Always lock your vehicle and secure any valuables.    
  • Wear clothing that is loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored to protect your skin from the sun and to keep you cool.    
  • Lather up with sunscreen to keep your skin healthy for years to come.    
  • Bring plenty of water with you and make sure you drink it even if you don’t feel thirsty.    
  • If it is really hot outside, bring extra water, walk slower, and take more breaks.    
  • Seek safe shelter if the weather gets dangerous or you hear or see storms nearby.    
  • Step carefully over and around fallen logs and branches, rocks, roots, and other things lying on the ground.    
  • Poisonous plants like poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac may grow near an Inspiration Station or along a trail. Know what each looks like and watch out for them!    
  • Spiders, insects, snakes, or other critters may visit the same places where Inspiration Stations are hidden. Be careful where you step and where you reach!     
  • Mosquitoes, black flies, or other annoying bugs may bother you. You may want to wear bug repellent spray or other products to keep them away.     
  • Always check to make sure that you are not taking any bugs home with you.    
  • Be careful around ponds, lakes, rivers and streams.

Themes, Testimonials & Photos

Thanks for participating in this summer’s GO WilMa! program. We are interested in hearing your comments, both good and constructive, as it may help make next year’s program be even more successful and exciting. Please send your input and any photos to GO WilMa! Feedback. Your feedback may be posted here or appear in the WillisTowne Crier newsletter or on Instagram or Facebook. Also, like us on Facebook and post photos and comments there.

Past Themes Include:

  • 2022: Celebrating A Decade of Outdoor Adventures!

  • 2021 Summer: For the Birds!

  • 2021 Spring: The Adventure Continues!

  • 2020: Get Outside for Inspiration!

  • 2019: To the Moon and Back!

  • 2018: Kindness Rocks GO WilMa!

  • 2017: Get Outside & Come Together for a Better World!

  • 2016: Be Well, Be Fit--Get Outside & Move It!

  • 2015: Get Outside & Be a Hero!

  • 2014: Get Outside & Be Amazed!

  • 2013: Get Outside & Explore the Earth!

  • 2012: Get Outside & Reach for the Stars!

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Testimonials

An explorer's mom reports: "Each adventure taught us so much about our county and created wonderful family memories! We ended each hike filled with gratitude for living in an area with such beautifully preserved open space, and plan to return throughout the seasons." Leslie B.

A Willistown mom reports: "Here are photos from Siana (age 6), Daniel (age 4) and my Okehocking adventure. It was a beautiful day. The views were breathtaking! The gentle cool breeze really made the sunny day lovely. Siana said she loved the feeling of the wild wind, Daniel loved watching Ridley Creek, and we made new friends with two different families along the way."

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This GO WilMa! team is happy to be on the star dust trail seeking the Strawberry Moon. Mom reports: "We had a great time at sunset last night at Sugartown Strawberries!"
Cousins Erin and Jamie are two happy tree hugging star seekers at Kirkwood Preserve. Dad reports: "Great job again with the entire program. We are looking to finish up the last three this week and have really enjoyed it!"

THANK YOU!!!

10 Years of GO WilMa! 2022 Celebration Letter

Willistown Parks & Recreation ~ Celebrating community and enriching life through people, parks, and programs.


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