Pass on Your Values

The Nature Conservancy's Beth Fiencke and her daughter.

[Editor’s Note: The following guest post is written by Beth Fiencke, Director of Gift Strategy and Stewardship for The Nature Conservancy.]

Do you ever wonder what kind of impact your everyday activities can have on your family? What about the impact your life can have on the world around you? I started thinking about these questions last summer when my daughter was born.

I grew up spending lots of time outdoors — playing in city parks and swimming in Michigan lakes. Enjoying — and conserving — the natural world has always been important to me. I want to make sure that my child had the same type of memories.

That’s why I took Sylvia camping last September even though she was not quite three months old. We went on a hike, enjoyed a campfire and slept in a tent. I know she won’t remember this trip, but I wanted it to be the beginning of a tradition — a tradition that I hope infects her with a sense of adventure and an understanding of the solace and sustenance that nature provides.

That is also why I have named The Nature Conservancy as a partial beneficiary of my 401(k) plan. One day (hopefully in the distant future) when I am gone, a small part of my life’s earnings will work to conserve lands and waters. I want Sylvia to remember that nature mattered to me. And I can only hope it will still matter to her.

We want to hear about the small actions have you taken to pass on your values. Do the important people in your life know what matters to you? Please post a comment below!

If you want to find out more about how you can pass on your values by including The Nature Conservancy in your estate plans, you can contact us at (877) 812-3698. Or, take some time to learn more about bequests.

[Image: The author and her daughter Sylvia. Image source: Beth Fiencke]

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  1. Great idea! How did the trip go?

  2. Thanks for addressing that question– keeps me motivated working in the environmental education field.

  3. I love camping, and I’ve been doing it for years. My daughters also love to camp. I spend a lot of time outdoors with them, hiking, fishing, collecting things, bird-watching. They love it. My wife isn’t very outdoorsy, but even she enjoys camping, as long as we sleep on an air mattress.

    If we pack food on our hikes, we put our trash back into my backpack and I talk to them about protecting the forest and the impact that garbage can have on the plants and animals. We also talk about how what affects nature also affects us.

    Like you, I want my girls to see nature not as something to be taken for granted, but as a crucial element to a much bigger picture that includes them.

    Thank you for the post.

  4. I’ve always been intrested in nature and when I got married with my husband, he motivates me more because his a outdoor person! Now we go camping all the time, fish, we even just go have a little pick-nick! And I love your idea of taking your daughter camping. When I have a child, I will take take her camping also and motivate her on conserving nature for the good of everyone 🙂

  5. Great blog! My husband and I take our baby boy on nature walks, and he loves it! We’ll have to take him camping this summer.

  6. I started this group almost two years ago and it is ROCKING!! We homeschool and we get together with other families that love to GET Outdoors (around 70 member families) The main element is a love for Getting Outdoors.

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