Families

This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2008 issue of Appalachia. My wife, Stephanie, peeked her head into the garage as I balanced on a ladder trying to locate my backpack in the above storage area. It was the highest elevation I had reached in six years. My old Kelty external frame lay crushed…

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When Itzamary and Noe Caban attended their first Outdoors Rx event three years ago in Chelsea, Mass., they assumed the AMC program’s primary beneficiary would be their young daughter, Khalani. After all, it was Khalani’s pediatrician who’d referred the family to Outdoors Rx—which organizes free, structured outdoor experiences for families living in several under-resourced Greater…

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Winter transforms a trail. The hiking is beautiful, and snow can cover and even out rocky, rooty paths, sometimes making them easier than in the other seasons. At the same time, deep drifts make some areas impassible without snowshoes, and steep slopes can become icy slides. Hikers should venture out with the season’s beauty, and its…

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If you’re hiking with kids, the single most important thing you can do is ensure they have fun, enjoy the experience, and continue on a path of  loving the outdoors. Having a few key items of gear can help with that goal, while keeping them safe at the same time. Here are seven things I…

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Whether you’re taking a walk in your local park or you’re hiking in the mountains, nature can offer solace when things feel overwhelming. For those on the autism spectrum—almost 2 percent of American children, who struggle to communicate and are extra-sensitive to bright lights, loud noises, and new places and people—a nature path provides especially…

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The scars of domestic violence are not always visible. One traumatic act can have a lasting effect on a survivor, with the road to recovery requiring time and attention. For families, part of that healing involves regaining a sense of hope—a process AMC is helping nurture by offering survivors and their children a safe place…

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The science is settled: Since the mid-19th century, human activities have contributed to global warming by at least 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 degree Celsius. If climate change continues at its current pace—or ramps up, as last fall’s United Nations Intergovernmental Panel predicted—our children will face ecological challenges previous generations could not have imagined: worsening…

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  To hear them describe it, the Pyles family’s backyard was “meh.” Behind their East Boston triple-decker, there was a picnic table, a small vegetable garden, and some spotty grass underneath a canopy of evergreens and a mature cherry tree. Rob, Juliet, and their daughters, Alessandra and Aria (6 and 4), would occasionally eat meals out there, and the girls had room to play. But…

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Getting the kids outdoors might be as easy as heading into the backyard or down the block to the neighborhood park. But once you’re outside, keeping kids engaged for an hour or two can be challenging. For a list of cheap and simple outdoor activities kids can do anywhere, we turned to Angel Santos Burres,…

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Many American families approach the snow and cold of winter as something to be endured, even feared. Scandinavian families, on the other hand, approach the cold as something to be embraced and enjoyed, and they even have vocabulary for it. The Danish word hygge, pronounced hoo-guh, describes the pursuit of joy and coziness, even when…

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