Currently in its 12th year, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, 2 teams of professional outdoor educators, have reached over 10 million people in 48 states with Leave No Trace education and training.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wrapping up 09 Season

Our travels have been gradually winding us back toward Colorado. Over the last few days, we have spent time in Minnesota and Nebraska as the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Season '09 begins to wind down.

Amidst enjoying the fun outdoor recreational activities that Minneapolis has to offer, mainly disc golf and bike riding, we toured the campus of Minnesota State University.  We provided an Awareness Workshop to the students in the Programming for Outdoor Settings course.  As they learned the skills and ethics that drive the Leave No Trace program, they also picked up a little bag of tricks on how to teach this information to groups they will lead in the future.
Onto Ralston, Nebraska for an evening with over 50 cub scouts for their den meeting.  These 6-9 year old boys learned ways to Leave No Trace through an energetic  game of What Principle Am I?, an activity available in the PEAK Pack.  The boys and their families took home education, as well as their very own Subaru/Leave No Trace tote bag.  The totes were a BIG hit with Halloween right around the corner!  For us, back to Colorful Colorado...
Sate travels...Kate and Tracy

Picture of the Week: Happy Halloween!!!

What better way to celebrate Halloween than a spooky hike in a remote locale?

We thought we'd do just that when we visited Goblin Valley State Park in Southern Utah earlier this week! We didn't see any goblins, but the erie rock formations and eroded cliffs didn't disappoint! Hope you all have a Happy Halloween and if you happen to be in Utah...keep an eye out for goblins!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Impromptu Awareness Workshop

Typically an Awareness Workshop with the Traveling Trainers is set up months in advance. The host contacts our Outreach Manager, Dave Winter. Dave puts the workshop on the calendar. We contact the event host and work out all the logistics well in advance. This is not a story about one of those Awareness Workshops.

Over the weekend we headed to Malibu Creek State Park for an event sponsored by Subaru. The evening before the event we showed up at the park's campground in hopes of finding a place to camp. As we drove around the campground loop we noticed that we seemed to be drawing more attention than usual (if you've ever seen the Leave No Trace Subaru, then you know it has potential to draw a modest amount of attention). As we commented to each other about all the staring, one camper waved us down for a quick photo (of the Subaru, not us). We pulled over and jumped out to chat while several people began photographing the car. As we chatted to the photographers we discovered that they were all part of the same recreation class at a local university. We also found out that this was their first camping trip as a class and that they had recently taken a test that focused on Leave No about perfect timing!

We got the whole group to take the Bigfoot Challenge! What a great group and the perfect opportunity for some impromptu Leave No Trace talk.

If you are interested in setting up an Awareness Workshop with the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers for the 2010 season (and don't want to take the chance that we'll just happen to show up at the perfect time) please submit an online request.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

350 at The North Face Endurance Challenge

Saturday we joined Kevin from The North Face and over 1,500 runners and fans at the Kettle Moraine State Park in Eagle, WI for fourth stop of The North Face Endurance Challenge!  After a chilly start to the day, the sun came out and warmed the trails for all of the athletes.  It was a perfect day for a race!
October 24th was also the International Day of Climate Action orchestrated by  Currently the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere is at 390 parts per million(ppm) .  In an attempt to bring that number to a healthy level of 350 ppm and to help spread awareness of the dangerous levels of carbon in the atmosphere, we collected 350 signatures on our poster about the Bigfoot Challenge.  The big guy was honored to help us take action and be a part of one of the over 4,000 events going on world-wide.  All of these events are meant to encourage world leaders at the United Nations to re-think policies at the final meeting of the Climate Change Conference in Copehagen, Denmark this December.
It was an honor to be a small link in such a huge chain of events.  World leaders will be unable to ignore this grassroots effort to let the people be heard.  We are one COMMUNITY! 
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Friday, October 23, 2009

Picture of the Week 10/23/09


Monday, October 19, 2009

GSUSA Trainer Course in Mississippi

This past weekend marked the final trainer course in the 2009 season for Team East.  Held at Camp Wahi in Brandon, MS, the participants on the course were a dynamic group of girl scout leaders and volunteers from across the state.  We spent our time exploring the skills and ethics of Leave No Trace, while experiencing no shortage of fun and laughter!  All of the women on the course were enthusiastic about taking their new knowledge back to their councils to share with their fellow staff and scouts.  A special thanks to Vera for coordinating this event and to Colleen for hosting us at the beautiful Camp Wahi!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Geocaching 101: Part Deux

This morning we said our goodbyes to our recent travel companion, Wolfgang Von Pitterpat. As promised in our earlier post Geocaching 101…We Need Your Help, we dropped Wolfgang off at the first suggested location, the Travel Bug Hotel (N 36° 30.306 W 104° 55.241) in Cimarron, New Mexico. Before dropping Wolfgang off we tagged him with our newest ethics reference card on geocaching*. This being our first adventure into the world of geocaching, we weren’t sure what to expect. Turns out we had a lot of fun and finally took the time to learn how to use the GPS unit that has been sitting in our glove box for over a year! Here is a brief retrospective of our geocaching adventure...enjoy!

We found Wolfgang at the top of Boundary Peak in Nevada and decided to make him an honorary Traveling Trainer!

Wolfgang perched on the Subaru on our way to Cimarron.

JD and Wolfgang figuring out how to use our GPS unit.

We found the "Travel Bug Hotel" right next to the historic St. James Hotel, which is supposedly haunted!

*No Travel Bugs were harmed in the tagging process.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Picture of the Week: Marmota flaviventris

Whether you call them wood chucks, ground squirrels or whistle pigs, these furry critters always make us smile when we're exploring peaks in the western United States. We spotted this Yellow-bellied Marmot near the Deer Lake Trail in Olympic National cute!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How do you minimize impacts?

Following our last event at Radford University in Radford, VA, we were excited to discover that nearby Blacksburg, VA was celebrating Sustainability Week!  As part of the celebration, a local theater was showing the documentary No Impact Man.  This film is based on a man who decides to eliminate his environmental impact for an entire year.  His wife and 2 year old daughter join him on his mission to be impact free.  The film was very inspiring and doesn't demand that we all strive to eliminate our carbon footprint, but evaluate what we can do in our own community to do our part to take care of the resources on this planet.  
How does this all relate to Leave No Trace?  Although it is impossible to leave NO trace, through education and the understanding of our individual impacts, we can all do our part to preserve and protect the quality of the finite resources that are our outdoor playgrounds!  So whether you are enjoying your backyard or your backcountry, consider ways you can minimize impacts on the environment!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Geocaching 101…We Need Your Help!

In honor of the new Leave No Trace ethics reference card on Geocaching, we decided to pick up a travel bug on a recent hike on Boundary Peak in Nevada. He’s pretty cute and we’re having a tough time deciding where to bid farewell to our new traveling companion, so we thought we’d ask for a little help.

Here is a list of places we are going to be visiting in the next few weeks, first person to leave a comment with coordinates of a cache in the general area of one of these events decides the fate of our little friend!
• Outdoor Adventure Summit – Philmont, NM
• Subaru Ready for Adventure Event – Malibu Creek State Park, CA
• Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics – Boulder, CO

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Are You Ready for Adventure?

We spent the weekend at Silver Strand State Beach near San Diego, California for a Subaru-Ready for Adventure outdoor extravaganza. Subaru covered the fees and invited anyone and everyone out for a free day of fun and outdoor adventure at one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. In addition to learning about Leave No Trace, park users were treated to surfing and paddle-boarding lessons courtesy of Billabong, free food, and lots of drawings…think bikes, boards, and kayaks!

Another highlight from the event was the Animal Behavior Specialist from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who was on hand to answer questions about pet behaviors. With the help of pups from the local animal shelter she demonstrated ways to train your dog to be an excellent adventure companion. It was a great event and the best part was that Subaru raised around $2,500 for Silver Strand State Beach over the course of the afternoon!
Join us at Malibu Creek State Park on October 24th for the next Ready for Adventure event!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge Week

On Saturday, we spent the day at Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge on Chincoteague Island in Virginia.  We were one of many exhibitors there to celebrate the wildlife that lives in the park.  The refuge is here to protect the native and migratory species of wildlife and their habitat.   Local artists, wildlife and marine organizations, and wildlife enthusiasts gathered at the visitor center for a day of exploration and fun.  There were activities, exhibits, and speakers to enlighten visitors of the abundant wildlife on the island.  We were excited to be there to share with folks ways to Leave No Trace while watching the wildlife at the park.  We reminded them to never feed, follow, or chase wildlife and to observe all wildlife from a distance.  
If you are ever on the eastern shore of Virginia, be sure to check out Chincoteague Island!  
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Friday, October 9, 2009


Last weekend we headed to Long Beach, California to meet up with local Girl Scouts for their Eco-Awareness Campout. We had a great time and spoke with over 200 girls about Leave No Trace. Held in an urban park, the Eco-Camp was a great opportunity to talk about the importance of preserving and protecting our Frontcountry areas from recreational impacts. Litter, wildlife impacts, and dog waste issues were just a few of the topics that we discussed during our presentation. We were really impressed by the attitude that these girls had towards Leave No Trace and environmental ethics, which is a good sign for the future of California parks!

Picture of the week 10/9/09

Team East visits their 39th National Park- Congaree National Park in South Carolina!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Peaks to Piedmont

On Saturday, we joined over 2, 200 girl scouts, troop leaders, and staff as 4 councils from North Carolina merged into the Peaks to Piedmont Council.  The celebration was held at the Hickory Metro Center and was filled with activities, games, learning, and exploration!  We spoke with over 1,000 people and educated them on Leave No Trace and ways they can incorporate the skills and ethics into their curriculum.  Best of luck to all the merging councils as they collaborate and share in the joys of scouting!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Monday, October 5, 2009

From Rhode Island to Virginia

We visited Greenville, RI to work with a troop of Boy Scouts and their leaders to teach them ways to Leave No Trace on their future outings.  Some of the boys are going to be traveling to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for a backpacking trip next fall.  With so many scouts visiting Philmont each year, it is crucial that everyone practices Leave No Trace while they are there.  Our workshop provided them with skills they can use when they go to Philmont...have fun out there!

Our next stop was to REI in West Hartford, CT.  Here we gave a PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) presentation to a group of cub scouts.  They were very excited to learn about Leave No Trace, especially about how to respect wildlife.

Finally, we traveled to Virginia Beach, VA to present at the Virginia Beach Friends School.  The educational programs at Virginia Beach Friends are characterized by rigorous academic challenges balanced with principles of personal responsibility, leadership development, creative expression, social awareness, and spiritual recognition.  During our visit we worked closely with staff at the school to introduce strategies and activities they can use to teach their students about Leave No Trace and environmental stewardship.  Some of the students will be taking a trip to Peru later this school year with Director of Admissions, Jacqui Whitt, who also works with one of our partners Adventure Holidays Peru.  
What a week!  Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Friday, October 2, 2009

Picture of the Week: Celebrating the Tetons

What better way to kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month than a hike in Grand Teton National Park with three cancer survivors?

Pictured above JD Tanner, Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer, hikes a steep section of trail between Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point with his mom, Donna, and her good friends, Janet and Connie on a recent trip to Grand Teton National Park.

Subaru, National Public Lands Day, and Grand Teton National Park

Recently we had the opportunity to team up with our title sponsor for a few days in Grand Teton Nation Park for the Subaru Outback Lifestyle Camping Event. Base camping out of the Coulter Bay campground, we met with journalists from all over the country as they stepped into the shoes of a typical Subaru owner.

This event was made even more special because we were joined by Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics staff, Dave Winter-Outreach Manager and Ben Lawhon-Educational Director. In addition to testing out the 2010 Subaru Outback on a little drive that took all of us to the top of the ski mountain at Teton Village, journalists and Subaru staff also pitched in on a service project, in honor of National Public Lands Day, which involved tearing down a large portion of an old fence within the park. Tearing down the fence allowed elk herds and other wildlife to move more freely across the valley.

Back at camp we were able to share information on Leave No Trace and the Traveling Trainer program. Looking for durable surfaces to set up our tents, sharing techniques for food storage in bear country, and discussing the impacts that are associated with campfires were just some of the topics that came up during the trip.

We had a great time and want to give a big thanks to our friends from Subaru for all their support and for letting us be a part of this event.