Family Completes Second Season of Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

 It's not too late for one last summer blast to explore Texas. 

Cailey Melvin, with friends and family and Snowgy the Bunny, completed GOSH 2021.

What did YOU do on your summer vacation?

Well, if you’re the Melvin family from Harker Heights, your answer would be: “Embarked on an epic family adventure, as usual.” Luckily, when COVID limited their destination options, Texas Parks & Wildlifemagazine stepped in to offer a Texas-sized alternative to faraway destinations — the second year of the Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt.

It’s not too late for one last adventure! Join the Melvins and complete one region before it all ends at midnight on Labor Day. Click here to get started.

Remember that old song, “I’ve Been Everywhere”? The Melvins have been everywhere!

After all, they had already knocked out the first round of GOSH in 2019 (GOSH was canceled due to COVID in 2020). With a passel of new places to discover and the magazine’s family-friendly regional approach in mind, the family crossed every item — that’s 36, including the “bonus” food round — off the list again in 2021.

We were excited to meet these GOSH enthusiasts in person, so the Melvins piled into their trusty 1988 Land Cruiser and came to visit the Austin office in April. Piling into the car for adventure is second nature to these teachers and their daughters.

Daughter Cailey regaled everyone with stories about her recent trip to the Galapagos Islands and her particular interest in the blue-footed booby. She’s a bright young naturalist who had become a little anxious during the isolation of home study. RaeAnn and John saw the announcement for GOSH’s second season and a light bulb came on. Getting back to family adventure always gets them back in the groove.

Soon, lucky friends found themselves accompanying Cailey and the Melvins on road trips to one of the GOSH regions, sometimes camping at parks, sometimes soaking off the road in a hotel hot tub. This year, there was a new member of the Melvin GOSH team: Snowgy, an adorable white lionhead rabbit. 

Together, they traversed Texas, taking selfies with #GOSH2021 locations everywhere they roamed. The Melvins got salty at El Sal del Ray, said howdy to Big Tex, marveled at the Texas Doofus, hiked trails, combed beaches and climbed towers to see the view. Not to mention, all the iconic Texas food such as pies with mile-high meringue and tacos, El Paso style.

The Melvins are a family full of curiosity, so they turn every stop into a fun learning opportunity. They delight in sharing new details about the places they visit and the people they meet along the way. Everything enriches the journey and sparks new discussions with few distractions. Family bonding at its finest.

Older daughter Cassidy (there are five Melvin kids with "C" names, Cailey is the youngest) was a part of their last GOSH summer adventure. She got the family started on environmental causes that sparked even more fulfilling trips. The Melvins start looking for deeper meaning pretty early in life.

So, we weren’t surprised to learn that RaeAnn has implemented the TPWD Archery in Schools program in her school for a decade. Nor were we surprised to hear of many other Melvin family adventures, like buying a canoe and heading to the coast to save cold-stunned sea turtles (and finding a huge pod of dolphins instead) or taking a “left turn” a few states over when someone expressed a desire to see the Pacific Ocean. 

 The Melvin family gave us a lot of inspiration for GOSH 2022, so look for it next June. 

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