Group Behavior

We all remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Put simply, treat others the way you would like to be treated. This proverb extends to our relationships with fellow hikers, climbers, campers, and paddlers and sums up the seventh and final Leave No Trace principle. “Each of…

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I’ve loved embarking on outdoor treks ever since I was 14 years old. What started with me sneaking onto El Toro Marine Base near Irvine, Calif., to run through its adjoining wildlands has evolved into hikes on Pikes Peak, the James Irvine Trail, and my favorite site: Katahdin. The first time I attempted the ascent…

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Dr. Tom: How do I prevent getting caught in a lightning storm? What if a member of my party is struck by lightning?   If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. The absence of clouds overhead or rain does not mean you are safe. The…

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When Aaron North greets a new group of teenage volunteers to serve on one of AMC’s trail crews for a week, he’s sympathetic. For some, it’s their first outdoors experience, and supporting these adolescents as they navigate new situations is one of North’s primary concerns. “Being a teenager is complicated enough,” says North, AMC’s southern…

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The asphalt service road that leads to Ecology Village, one of a handful of overnight camping spots in New York City, makes for smooth bicycling. When six young cyclists, all between the ages of 9 and 13, and their leader, Courtney Williams, pedal into the site on a sunny autumn Saturday morning, the vibe is…

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Early fall is a beautiful time of year for paddling. The water is warm, the days sunny, and leaf peeping, from your kayak, canoe or SUP (stand up paddle board), is a ton of fun.  Before your next trip, take a few minutes to think about what your group needs when getting on, and off,…

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Using resources from the Outdoor Leader Handbook, you and your co-Leader planned an activity and posted it on outdoors.org. The trip is full and you know it’s going to be great! The day of the trip arrives. You & your co-Leader meet the group at the designated spot. Before getting underway, you provide introductions, share the…

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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 situation: You, and a co-leader, have a group of ten (10) participants. You’ve planned an ambitious day hike up a 4000+ peak in late July. The weather is clear, although it is hot & humid with temperatures in the mid-80s (Fahrenheit). Every member of your group has at least 2 liters of water and…

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Backyard games, climbing, hiking, paddling, picnics, sidewalk strolls, trail running . . . If we make a list of the ways we enjoy the outdoors during the long days of summer, it’d be nearly endless! This is a very busy time of year for AMC’s volunteer leaders. Leaders plan & conduct a variety of activities…

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