OK Kids 2023

Saturday, June 3rd 2023 from 10 AM to 1 PM at Great Plains Nature Center

This is an event at the Great Plains Nature Center that is free to kids and families around the Wichita area.  It helps teach them to respect the wildlife.  They learn about nature and the wildlife that lives in it.
The Flatland Fly Fishers volunteers help make this a successful event every year.  We help with the fishing and sometimes with the other stations they need volunteers to work.

We normally break up the day into a couple time slots for volunteers but the have shorten how long the event last this year.  We will need some volunteers to show up early and stay a little late to allow for setting up and taking down the station.  The rods need to be setup and baited before the event starts.  Please bring pliers, clippers, Flatland Fly Fishers hat, sunglasses, water and a towel to clean your hands and the kids.

Lunch is provided for all the volunteers (do not know if they are doing lunch this year).

What is O.K. Kids?

There was a time when Kansas kids took the outdoors for granted. They just seemed to grow up outside. That time was spent working on the family farm, chasing frogs down by the ponds, wandering along the creeks and rivers, and scaring up rabbits along the fence rows. Kansas kids were no strangers to sunrises and sunsets, nor to the feel of wind, rain, or snow on their faces. Values learned from these times—responsibility, self-reliance, hard work and sharing—carried over into the lives they led.

O.K. Kids Mission

To provide multiple outdoor recreation opportunities for Kansas youth with adult partnering and mentoring to encourage outdoor recreational opportunities, and promote and provide an active lifestyle as an alternative to sedentary activities.

Program Scope

O.K. Kids covers the entire state of Kansas. Primary sites are at the Kansas State Parks, but other organizations and venues such as City and County Parks and Recreation Departments and private sites also hold O.K. Kids events.

O.K. Kids Program

Across the state of Kansas each year, over 40 sites sign up to host the O.K. Kids Program. Participation has steadily grown through 2016 with over 13,000 Kansas youth and their parents/grandparents annually enjoying their day outdoors at different sites throughout Kansas. Events are free to all participants and open to all.

The O.K. Kids Program offers the opportunity for participants to experience the outdoor beauty of Kansas and to learn a little about its natural resources and wildlife through games and activities.

Each site determines the specific activities it will offer participants based on the site’s resources and perceived community interests and needs.  Kansas Wildscape provides the operating manuals, event signage, free participant caps or t-shirts, gifts, prizes and overall organizational, promotional and marketing support.

Kids participate in outdoor games and activities including:

  • fishing derbies
  • fishing clinics
  • horseshoes
  • scavenger hunts
  • sack races
  • archery
  • bird watching
  • birdhouse building
  • hiking
  • outdoor cooking contests

All events are free and provide a great way for families to spend time together outdoors. For many of these Kansas kids, this O.K. Kids Day will be an introduction to the beauty and enjoyment of the outdoors, for others a reawakening or reinforcing of their outdoor interests.

O.K. Kids Program Impact & Involvement

The first year of the program was 2001, and was limited to a single day of activities at every Kansas State Park.  Between 4,000 and 5,000 attended the first O.K. Kids Day.  As the program has grown, it has become an annual program with most events held between May and September with over 14,000 youth and their families in attendance. To date, Kansas Wildscape has invested over $150,000 in our O.K.Kids program to help sites get started, promoted, and growing rapidly for years to come.

Kansas Wildscape understands that this is a generation of children full of technology, constant activities and expectations, with strict boundaries set by parents and society to protect, and a shrinking sensory world. Today’s children are not “missing” nature, because they cannot miss something they have never truly had. It is our goal to help show our Kansas children the beauty of nature, an appreciation for nature, and a desire to seek out more nature in their life. By making this impact, we hope to help a child find a place of imagination, a place of fantasy, a place of peace, a place of discovery, a place of freedom, a place of privacy, and a place of transformation.

For more information about O.K. Kids click here.