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Laney Goes to Washington

So, our daughter Laney got this in the mail the other day …


In case it’s a little blurry on your browser, it says:



MAY 15, 2015

Laney ~~~~~~


Dear Laney:

Thanks for letting me know your family’s big plans for your time in fourth grade. I hope you’re looking forward to what sounds like an exciting year!

There’s so much learning to be done in our National Parks, and it’s clear your parents are thrilled to have the chance to share memorable outdoor experiences with you. As you grow and discover new things during your time in our National Parks, I encourage you to write down some of what you see and also to remember to take care of our public lands so kids growing up years from now can have the same opportunities to connect with America’s natural treasures.

Please let your parents know how happy I am for all of you — you have my very best wishes for this wonderful adventure together.


Barak Obama


Getting a personal letter from the President of the United States is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event in our household, and Laney had to excuse herself outside for a quick scream of delight when she saw this. Thanks so much to President Obama and the White House Office of Correspondence for such an A-1 classy and kind response to a little girl’s letter.

So, how did this come about?

Laney and I were pouring over the National Geographic map of the National Parks and I asked her where she wanted to visit on the East Coast. She said she wanted to go visit the White House and meet the President.

“We can always try,” I said.

“Can we really, daddy,” she asked.

“Why don’t you write him a letter and find out,” I said. “He’s really busy, but you never know.”

She got right down to it after I gave her a couple of ideas. I wish I had made a copy of her letter, but it basically thanked him for giving 4th Graders free passes to our public lands, told him a bit about our plans to travel the national parks for a year, and asked him to check out our website.

About 6 weeks later, I noticed an email from the Director of White House Correspondence asking me to touch base and answer a few questions by phone. The next day, we were talking to the White House. They not only asked a few questions to make sure Laney was in the first class of kids who will get the free passes in the fall of 2015, but the director invited us to stop by for a tour of the White House this fall.

And I thought I was the good writer in the family … Nice job, Kiddo!

We’ll let know about our White House visit as the details unfold. Stay tuned!

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5 Comments to Laney Goes to Washington

  1. Just goes to show that, “It doesn’t hurt to try,” as you said, Rich. What a brilliant result for Laney and her letter writing.

    Way to go all of you!

    (Sorry this is so late – catching up!)

  2. Stasha Simon says:

    How cool is this? How did I miss that you would be gone for a year. Wow. I love your adventurous spirit!

  3. Elly Hurd says:

    And, one day, when Laney is President, she’ll send her own super cool letter to yet another awesome 4th-grader!

  4. Joy Johnston says:

    Amazing and exciting. Hope you will get to Washington and the White House. The Obamas are such good people!!!

  5. Rob Hurd says:

    Wow!That is definitely the coolest thing ever! Congratulations Laney! Have fun!

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