Youth Groups

When Rachel Freierman was 15 years old, she went on a 10-day backpacking trip with AMC’s Teen Wilderness Adventures (TWA) program. She already felt fairly comfortable in the outdoors. Her family went car camping. They backcountry skied. Still, Freierman had never backpacked before. “I was excited to push myself,” she recalls. Every outdoor adventure has challenges, and every kid arrives at those challenges with different levels of experience. Mix in unpredictable…

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» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW Editor’s note: Hamlet Fort reported this story during the summer of 2015. While some croo members have changed since then, others remain the same. Get to know both the 2015 and the 2016 croo.   I had forgotten about our nicknames. But there they were, scratched into the…

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From time to time, many of us find ourselves taking a step back and admiring the handiwork of our fellow lovers of the outdoors—those volunteers who devote time and elbow grease to trail work. We can think about it a bit differently, too, considering not just what we do for the trails, but what trail…

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Anyone who has ever played capture the flag knows the thrill of grabbing the opposing team’s pennant and running like crazy. All you need are a couple of bandanas, some open space, and a few friends. But if this and other classic outdoor games—red rover, kick the can, red light green light— are so easy…

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In the past, getting city school kids outdoors meant playing handball in a brick courtyard. These days, more and more educators are finding creative ways to integrate outdoor learning into their curricula, with efforts ranging from planting rooftop gardens to transforming parking lots into outdoor labs. One such initiative is New York City’s The Natural…

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Adults and kids often have different ideas about what autumn outings should entail. Maybe the adults in the family want to see the changing colors of the leaves, while the kids just want to jump in big piles of them. When it comes to fall foliage, there are several strategies you can try for meeting…

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There is a secret gem located in central New Hampshire: the Ossipee Mountains. The area is full of short hikes to granite ledges and open peaks, waterfalls galore, and no crowds except on a handful of locally popular hikes. A visitor to the Ossipee Mountains will wonder why they have never heard of this magical…

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Just over the Massachusetts border, Nipmuck State Forest and the adjoining Bigelow Hollow State Park in Connecticut offer plenty of outdoor activities, ranging from hiking and camping to fishing and geocaching. It’s also a great place to look for wildlife, like beavers and eagles. On a recent guided hike led by Chief Ranger Bill Reid,…

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We all know that many kids spend more time with their smartphones and tablets than they do outside. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this may have something to do with why you are reading this blog. As a parent, you’re looking for ways to pull the plug and connect your children to the smell…

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Piles of fall leaves, crisp autumn air, seeing friends after a summer apart: Many parents have fond memories of walking or biking to their neighborhood schools. Back in 1969, more than 50 percent of all kids got to school on foot or by bike. Compare that to 2009 and beyond, when less than 13 percent…

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