School Groups

Leading kids through the woods requires more than a map and compass. You also need enthusiasm and creativity to keep things fun for young hikers, whether they’re preschoolers who tire easily or older children who claim they’re bored. Try these strategies to keep kids interested when out on the trail. ACTIVE PLAY Walk This Way:…

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Two first-aid kits are spread on the hood of my friend’s car and we’re trying to decide what we should pull from each for our three-day hike along the Appalachian Trail from Connecticut into Massachusetts. Julia, my friend’s 7-year-old daughter, and I are looking at a rolled-up ACE bandage. “Do you think we’ll need that?”…

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Do you and your kids like to dream up new backyard games? Or are you stuck in a rut and need some fresh ideas? In either case, the CLIF Backyard Game of the Year contest has something for you. If you’re a kid who has invented a game, you can submit it by July 3 for…

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When I get to a bridge while hiking, I like to stop and gaze at the water. My daughter, not so much. At 4, she is more interested in action. That’s why I was delighted to be reminded of the game “Pooh sticks” when talking with Susan Brown, the youth and family outdoor community coordinator…

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Shake out your tents: It’s time for the 10th annual Great American Backyard Campout. On June 28, thousands of people will be pitching tents in yards and parks across the country as part of this nationwide family camping adventure. Whether you camp with a community group, head to your backyard, or hike to a remote…

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Combine the joy of day hiking with the adventure of a night in a tent and you’ll see why backpacking is a terrific family adventure. These six overnight outings in New England and the Mid-Atlantic are recommended for young hikers by AMC authors. To learn more about these backpacking destinations, check out AMC’s Best Backpacking…

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In a bit of spring cleaning, I recently realized that I didn’t share the top posts of the past year as I usually do in January. It’s an interesting list, so even though it’s belated, here are the family outdoors highlights of 2013: the posts that were read and shared most widely. Top 10 posts…

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With the epic winter of 2013-14 finally behind us, who isn’t thrilled to swap sleds, skates, and snowshoes for hiking boots, paddles, and sleeping bags? Living in New York City, the Catskill Mountain Preserve is our go-to destination for all of our weekend getaway needs. During the spring thaw, we plan trips to the nearby…

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After learning how the two experts interviewed in this article became interested in astronomy, some parents may want to run right out and buy a telescope for their children. Both Amanda Thompson, who works at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science in Boston, and Douglas Arion, who, among other things, is a…

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In late March or early April, a warm rain will fall and spotted salamanders will emerge from underground in the evening to return to vernal pools to breed. This phenomenon is known as “Big Night,” and it’s a great teaching moment for kids. Here are some suggestions for how to introduce children to Big Night….

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