"I loved it so much, I wanted to have a soiveneir [sic] to come home with me. So I took a rock. I'm sorry, and I want to return it. Also, here's a donation!"

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
August 20, 2019
Jason Langley/Getty Images

Maybe it's pocketing too many seashells in Florida. Or picking one too many Texas wildflowers. We've all been there and felt that smidge of guilt creep in when we stare at our plunder back home.

One youngster is speaking up on behalf of all of us. "Dear Park Ranger, Deep Creek was awesome! I especialy [sic] liked Tom Branch Falls," a girl began a letter to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park employees, posted on their Facebook page on August 17th. "I loved it so much, I wanted to have a soiveneir [sic] to come home with me. So I took a rock. I'm sorry, and I want to return it. Also, here's a donation!" Signed by a young lady named Karina, the child also enclosed the pilfered rock with her letter.

The park rangers shared Karina's letter along with their own words of encouragement, noting "Already, you are becoming an amazing steward for the park. Thank you for recognizing that what is in the park should stay in the park. If every visitor took a rock home, that would mean 11 million rocks would be gone from the park every year!" Read their full post below.

The sweet gesture is a welcome reminder to "leave only your footprints" when visiting our country's great outdoor spaces and parks.

WATCH: Why Every Southerner Should Visit Gatlinburg 2019

Thanks for setting a wonderful example for us all, Karina. On that note, we've got to look up the address of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department...

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