Great Kids, Great Outdoors

“Our kids have been hiking since before they were born,” says Mike Gildesgame, Southern New England policy manager at AMC. A family photo from a trip to Acadia National Park shows Mike with one child on his shoulders and one in a backpack, standing next to his wife, Catharyn, who was pregnant with their youngest…

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About twenty years ago, Tim Whyte was involved in youth and recreation programs in Saugus, Mass., where he lived and ran a construction company. He joined the Appalachian Mountain Club because he wanted to learn more about taking kids backpacking; he signed up for one of AMC’s Outdoor Leadership Training courses. “I found an incredible…

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“I can remember my first backpacking trip,” says Marshall Nicoloff, AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) coordinator in New York City. The hike was in southern Vermont, and Marshall was doing it with his Boy Scout troop. “It was two miles in. I think I was nine. My backpack was entirely too large, an adult-sized external…

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When Eric Stones, a volunteer leader of family outings for AMC’s Connecticut Chapter, thinks back to his childhood in England, he remembers three things his father often did with him: “taking me to hear music, taking me to cricket matches, and taking me hiking.” Now a long-time resident of the United States, Eric admits that…

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This week, leading up to Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21, I’m posting profiles of several AMC fathers — men who share a love of the outdoors and who take the time to teach what they know to boys and girls, young men and women, in various ways. Some lead family trips. Some teach and…

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It’s been another “unseasonably” cool week here in central New Hampshire. Even Jim, who rarely complains, felt compelled to grumble about the slow start to summer. Me, I’m thrilled. I am more than happy to trade off heat, even sun, for fewer biting bugs. And it does appear that black flies haven’t done any better…

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I sat down at my desk this morning, somewhat embarrassed, ready to admit that we missed celebrating National Trails Day on Saturday. We didn’t make it to a single one of the trails around Boston that I mentioned in Thursday’s post. Here’s how the day went: We were having so much fun with our friends,…

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Saturday is the 16th National Trails Day. Since 1993, the first Saturday in June has been set aside by hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of volunteers to maintain and extend our country’s more than 200,000 miles of trails. We’d like to put our eight hands to work on the trails of our “home…

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My previous post got me thinking about the tricks we’ve used to encourage our two young hikers. I came up with nine more in addition to the “Hansel and Gretel” ploy. Each has been tested, as they say, in the field. None has worked every time, which is why the last two tips are more…

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My husband and I have come up with private nicknames for our children when we hike. We’ve dubbed our ten-year-old daughter “nature girl.” She seems to have been born to hike. Not so our six-year-old son, Virgil. When he is forced to walk uphill on a narrow path, he can instantly transform himself from boy…

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