Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Looking back..

on the past 4 months.. Phew! It seems I'm always apologizing for this blog being so far out of date.. as the commercial says... "Life comes at you fast..." sometimes too fast to take time out to blog. We have partnered with schools, camps, (local, state and national) organizations and (state and national) parks to reach more than 2500 folks adult and youth.. just in the last 4 months!

Currently, we're:
- Actively supporting both in and after-school enrichment programming for schools throughout the central MD - northwestern VA region;
-Developing educational and adventure programs for 2010;
-Providing training and professional development for educators and counselors who work with after-school enrichment programming;
-Providing character and leadership development programming for teenagers throughout the region;
-Directing and teaching the outdoor education and adventure programs at several regional colleges and universities (our 17 year!); and,
- (as always) Continuing to refine our adult and corporate development programming for the particularly challenging economic environment.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Summer Mode

When Summer rolls around, you can find us almost anyplace outdoors doing what we do best... teaching.

So far this year, we've hosted freshwater biologists from Alaska, Wisconsin, Oregon, (you name it) while supporting our partnership with the Interstate Commission for the Potomac River Basin.

We're using our "floating laboratories" (canoes) to support Hood College's research into invasive marine species in the upper Potomac River drainage

We have taught a number of LNT Trainer courses to river guides from "River Riders" outfitters in Harpers Ferry WV and to interpretive volunteers for the National Park Service.

...and we've staffed numerous "end of school, outdoor adventure learning celebrations" for fifth graders throughout northern and western Maryland.

One of our favorite activities of summer just concluded... a week long day-camp for 18 qualifying elementary students from Brunswick MD. .. biking, climbing, paddling, swimming.. all right in their backyard along the C&O Canal and Potomac River...

As this is written we're actively providing instructional support to a Girl Scout camp adventure program (climbing) and a Boy Scout high adventure camp program.

As you can tell, things get busy... but boy, is summer awesome or what?!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Watery World

Indeed our world is one of water.. without which there would be no life.
There is nothing we, as an organization, get more satisfaction from than working with students learning about this precious resource.. Over the years we have led student groups on dozens of streams studying land use and the associated water quality... bloated cows just upstream from a municipal water intake, rivers with no riparian buffers at all, rivers whose major consumers have gone to great lengths to preserve and protect the water quality.. the entire spectrum of responses to water as a limited resource.

We also wrapped up our after school enrichment programming this week..

Next week, we host the Interstate Commission for the Potomac River Basin as it, in turn, hosts paddlers and watershed activists from across the country...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Running Moon

There is the Hunter's Moon, the Harvest Moon... throughout the winter, the Skiers Moon... and now for the full moon in April, nearest to mid month..

..the Runners Moon. Sometimes it's just too bright to sleep...

Training the trainers

A blustery and snowy April day is a perfect time to work on developing the skills of the professionals who provide after school enrichment programming. For more than ten years we have been working to help make sure the all young people are provided the best possible program facilitators...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Full moon running into the dawn.. and parachute racing.

With the world slowly becoming more springlike, it's inevitable that someday, the change to Daylight Savings will arrive... thanks to Congress, all of us who thrive in the early mornings are now thrust back, firmly into the BMNT (beginning morning nautical twilight) zone... Running up, down and across the mountainside in this amazing twilight is not for the faint of heart... (historically a time of great risk and danger). This morning was no exception...except there was a full moon... until it set behind the ridge.. followed by profound darkness.... and yet thru sheer perseverance on a set, proven and known course I eventually emerged into the dawn.. the greatest of affirmations.

And with this being March we've been holding a lot of parachute races at the Community Learning Centers.. two friends grab a 'chute between them and then run across a designated space.. daring the wind and their grip to lift them off and deposit them into some neighboring farmer's field. Times of high anxiety (!) and great fun indeed!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adventure U.

Today we spent the day at the Shenandoah Area Council's "University of Scouting".
For about 12 years now we have partnered with this council that straddles the VA/WV border in the mountainous NW corner of VA and eastern panhandle of WV.
It is a great partnership.
Many of our staff grew up and were scouts in this council..many of us got our start climbing as 12 year old scouts on the rocks that surround one of the best scout camps for rock climbing an America.. Camp Rock Enon.. situated literally about .9 miles from the WV line. Of course in those days, the 70s and 80s, Boy Scouts were still focused on the basic outdoor skills: canoeing, knot tying, first aid, shooting sports, map and compass... rock climbing was absolutely not part of the program.
Fast forward to 1997.. In the desire to "give back" to an organization that has given so much we offered to help introduce a level of outdoor adventure professionalism to the camp program..
Well, one thing led to another, now we have a staff member who provides climbing training and certification not just locally to the local scouts, but nationally through the BSA National Camp School program.
For the summer of 2009, we are partnering with the council to offer 12 weeks of adventure programs. Backpacking and canoeing, of course.. (these are scout standbys).. but also canyoneering, rock climbing, caving, survival, primitive skills, mountain biking, whitewater paddling.. and amazing combinations of all of the above.

And even though teaching and guiding these pursuits is how we've made our living for the past 18 years.. the concept of High Adventure is still somewhat of a novelty... And that is what led to our presence at University of Scouting... To preach the gospel of adventure and challenge and the benefit it brings to the task of building future leaders and adults of character.