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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Connect Grant Recipient Visit in New Orleans

This week we had to pleasure of visiting one of the Center's Connect Grant recipient Claire Triplett, from the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD). Claire works with hundreds of youth from underprivileged areas in the city throughout the year. As summer promises to be a busy season in the Big Easy, Claire is taking full advantage of being a Connect Grant recipient. She has already taught numerous awareness workshops for NORD staff and youth and is looking forward to hosting a trainer course this fall. Great job Claire, keep up the good work down in N'awlins!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Our BIG Outdoors" weekend with the Girl Scouts of Washington

This weekend past we were in the sunny state of Washington at Camp Robbinswold with leaders from various councils of the Girls Scouts of America. In addition to a beautiful setting and very enthusiastic participants we were grateful for all the interest we received around the educational programs, grants and scholarships, and online programs for 2010 like the Bigfoot Challenge and Hot Spots.

Throughout the weekend we worked with different groups who were heading out to overnight camping trips as well as with audiences eager to learn how to bring the PEAK and TEEN programs to their troops in the communities they represented.

Above are windows into the learning experiences from the weekend. In the first photo, participants are learning how to teach Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces by participating in "Surface Hopscotch," and in the second photo participants are testing the "Rule of Thumb" to gauge a safe distance to enjoy viewing wildlife.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, March 29, 2010

Southeast Louisiana Camporall

This weekend we celebrated the 100th anniversary of scouting at the Southeast Louisiana Camporall at the Salmen Scout Reservation in MS. Over 3,000 cub scouts and their families were on hand to join in on the festivities. We were there to set up an educational booth where more than 200 people took the Bigfoot Challenge. We also taught the scouts to Trash Their Trash through the activity How Long Does It Last? In addition to the Leave No Trace activities, the scouts took part in rope making, shooting practice, a ropes course, climbing wall, and obstacle courses. We were able to get in on some of the more adult oriented activities, when we were asked to be guest judges at the dutch oven cook-off. YUM-YUM! The weekend ended with an entertaining arena show, including a great fireworks display! It was a fun weekend. A special thanks to Fonnie and Randy for taking care of us all weekend!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, March 26, 2010

Picture of the week 3/26/10

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gonzaga welcomes Leave No Trace to campus

This week we were on campus at Gonzaga University to share more information about Leave No Trace with the outdoor recreation community in Spokane, WA. We worked with the Outdoor Recreation club and members of the Spokane Sierra Club Inner City Outings group to learn more about the educational programs offered by the Center for Outdoor Ethics.

The opportunity to talk more about the Bigfoot Challenge and the Hots Spots programs was very well received by the campus community.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

100 Years of Scouting

This is a big year for the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts across the country will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of scouting! The traveling trainers will be attending a number of these celebrations, starting this weekend. Team East will be heading to Perkinston, MS to join thousands of scouts and their leaders at the Southeast Louisiana Council 100th anniversary Camporall. This event will be filled with education, activities, and of course Leave No Trace!
Leave No Trace and the Boy Scouts of America have always maintained a strong partnership, in fact the latest edition of the Boy Scout Handbook includes a chapter dedicated solely to Leave No Trace. We are looking forward to the many festivities happening this year in the scouting world!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Discovering Leave No Trace in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth

We had the fabulous opportunity to spend a week in Leavenworth, Washington, a Bavarian-themed town nestled at the base of the Cascade Mountains. On Friday, we visited the Discovery School for a second visit and had an excellent discussion about outdoor ethics and what motivates us to make responsible decisions in the outdoors.

Later in the afternoon, we had a community wide awareness workshop at Barn Beach Reserve, a sustainably built learning center and reserve whose mission is to provide educational programming and stewardship to celebrate, promote, and conserve the environmental, artistic and cultural heritage of the Greater Wenatchee Valley for the benefit of the local community and its visitors. Participants varied in ages from 7 to 70, but all were equally enthusiastic and open to learning about Leave No Trace.

We would like to extend our warmest "thanks" to our host Hana Butler for making this opportunity possible for the 2010 Traveling Trainers!

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Monday, March 22, 2010

Georgia Trainer Course

Over the weekend we had our third and final trainer course for the month of March at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area outside of Atlanta, GA. Nine participants from a variety of backgrounds created an entertaining atmosphere of learning. From the opening activity to the closing ceremony, the group carried a high energy level and many thoughtful discussions resulted. We even got to see theory turned to practice as Dave used the Authority of the Resource Technique to approach a park visitor with their dog off leash! We would like to thank Natalie Molnar, from the Atlanta REI store, for all her hard work in setting up this event. Here are a few pictures from the course, enjoy!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, March 19, 2010

Picture of the week 3/19/10

The elusive and magnificent Mt. Shuksan from the slopes of Mt. Baker ski resort.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A week in the Wenatchee Valley

This week we have a wide variety of presentations in Wenatchee and Leavenworth, Washington all arranged by Hana Butler, the Experiential Program Coordinator at Washington State University Chelan County Extension. We started the week off at the Cascade Discovery High School located at Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. This is a unique alternative high school where the hatchery and the school have the opportunity to benefit from one each other. We met with 14 students and introduced them to the Leave No Trace program. In the picture above they are showing off their drawings of places where they felt a connection with nature and the outdoors.

We also visited WestSide High School in Wenatchee, a school of choice for students seeking to earn their high school diploma in a unique educational setting. We met with thirty students and introduced them to Leave No Trace by playing Minimum Impact Match.

Later in the day, we shifted gears and went for a snowshoe adventure in Mission Ridge with ten Foothills Middle School 6th graders. While learning to snowshoe, we used various teachable moments to bring Leave No Trace to these young adults.

We will finish the week off by visiting the Cascade Discovery School once again and by having a two hour awareness workshop open to the public at the Barn Beach Reserve on Friday from 3-5.

All the best...

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kentucky State Parks Trainer Course

On Monday and Tuesday, we had the pleasure of working with Kentucky State Advocate, Lisa Deavers, on our second Trainer Course of 2010 at Barren River Lake State Resort Park. Lisa, along with eight other participants from Kentucky and Ohio, brought enthusiasm and passion to the course. We had many great discussions about the principles of Leave No Trace, including invasive species, disposal of human waste, and horse use on trails with multi-user groups. In addition, we spent a lot of time on teaching Leave No Trace to children with the PEAK program. It was fun to watch the entire group put on their 8 year old hats and act like a kid again, as we were reminded that we are all kids at heart! Thank you to all the participants for spending a chilly evening outdoors with us. Here is a photo of the newest Leave No Trace Trainers!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Leave No Trace visits the Sunset Trail District

Last Thursday we had the opportunity to work with the Venturing Program in Beaverton, Oregon in a evening awareness workshop. Leaders from various Boy Scout troops were on hand to learn more about Leave No Trace and brainstorm how to share the educational programs with the youth they work with throughout Oregon.

The Oregon State Advocate, Georgia Bosse, and a number of Master Educators also attended to share their experiences and perspective on how to bring the educational program to the outdoor recreation community and Boy Scouts of America in the Sunset Trail District.

All the best....

Agata and Jason

Monday, March 15, 2010

Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia Trainer Course

As trainer course season gets into full swing, mother nature welcomed us with monsoon style rains into Georgia on Friday evening. We had six participants that were eager to learn how they could implement Leave No Trace into both their professional and personal lives, especially into their scouting programs. Saturday the skies opened up and the sun shined upon us as we had a full day of fun and learning at Camp Tanglewood. Enjoy this slideshow from our first Trainer Course of 2010!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, March 12, 2010

3/12/10 Picture of the Week

The Angel Oak Tree in Charleston, S.C. is estimated to be between 300-400 years old.  It's height is 65 feet, while it's longest limb measures 89 feet!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Traveling Trainers visit the Bay Area

On Tuesday, we started the day off by visiting the Odyssey School, a small middle school for gifted and talented students in San Mateo, California. We met with the 6th and 7th grade classes to introduce them to Leave No Trace information. We discovered that the students had a wide range of outdoor recreation experiences in beautiful locations around the globe. These experiences allowed us to identify a common ethic amongst the group while participating in a number of activities focusing on the principles of Leave No Trace!

In the afternoon we traveled to the East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, a small college preparatory charter high school created four years ago in East Palo Alto, California. We first spoke with nine students in the E-packers club, the new outdoor recreation club. The E-packers will be going on a five-day backpacking trip in Big Sur at the end of the month, and we were invited to share Leave No Trace information with the club as they prepare for this trip. Our second presentation was open to the community and many parents, siblings, and friends of the E-packers came to find out what Leave No Trace was all about. We had a very interesting and bi-lingual conversation about Leave No Trace. When we talked about the decomposition rates of common trash items, the participants were quite surprised that it can take a plastic six-pack holder about 450 years to biodegrade. The audience was also interested in learning more about the Hotspots program to possibly nominate a local site for restoration within the community.

All the best....

Agata and Jason

Trainer Course Season Is Upon Us!

One of the many pleasures of our job as Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers is to facilitate trainer courses all over the lower 48 states. Last year we trained over 100 people during our ten months on the road. The above picture displays the zest that participants bring to the courses. This year we hope to train even more people. We are kicking the 2010 season off in full force as we are preparing for three trainer courses over the next two weeks!

If you are curious if there is a trainer course coming up in your area, check out the Community Page. Click on your state and nearby surrounding states to locate any trainer courses and awareness workshops that will be happening near you.

Do you know of 5-12 people that would be interested in a trainer course? You can request a visit from the Traveling Trainers to come to your area. Currently, we are taking requests for June-November 2010. We would appreciate the opportunity to work with you!

Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mastering the Mountain at Mt. High

This weekend we attended the Subaru Master the Mountain event at Mountain High Resort. Each winter season, the Subaru Master the Mountain team travels to ski resorts across the country bringing music, giveaways, and free activities for people to enjoy. Skiers have the opportunity to demo the latest Nordica skis, hone their skills with free ski and snowboard lessons, check out the latest film from MSP Films, In Deep: The Skiing Experience, test drive a Subaru, and of course learn about Leave No Trace.

We had participants provide their best guesses for the decomposition rates of common trash items and awarded small prizes. In this photo, the Mt. High Ski and Snowboard School instructors celebrate their correct answer.

Gratefully we received a sprinkling of fresh snow and a little bit of sunshine over the course of the weekend. Thanks to Subaru for putting on such a great event!

All the best....

Agata and Jason

Monday, March 8, 2010

5 Rivers Metro Parks Adventure Summit

This past weekend we attended the fifth annual 5 Rivers Metro Parks Adventure Summit. The mission of the event is to celebrate the spirit of outdoor adventure by showcasing the vibrant lifestyle and culture of human powered endeavors through inspiration, education, and experience. Leave No Trace was a natural fit for this event. Thousands of people from the 5 Rivers area gathered at Wright State University to express their enthusiasm for outdoor recreation. The energy charged weekend was full of exhibitors, competitions, and motivational speakers.

While on the road, we take advantage of every opportunity to meet and thank key Leave No Trace volunteers. Indiana State Advocate Douglas Wagoner was in attendance promoting upcoming trainer courses that he is teaching through his organization Green Earth Outdoors. We would like to thank Douglas and all of the volunteers that donate their time to enhance the Leave No Trace program. The Summit has grown tremendously since 2006. The Dayton, Ohio area is emerging as the "Adventure Capital of the Midwest," so if you ever have the chance to pass through this part of the country, be sure to step outside and experience what the area has to offer!

Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, March 5, 2010

Picture of the Week 3/5/10

Wildflowers in Point Mugu State Park in California's Santa Monica Mountains.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Leave No Trace connects with culturally diverse communities in San Diego, CA.

Wrapping up a month long visit to southern California we are fortunate to have worked with the Adventure Club at Lincoln High School in San Diego, California. This group is supported by CONNECT grant recipient Outdoor Outreach to bring outdoor recreational opportunities to youth in diverse communities throughout the San Diego area.

The group was very enthusiastic about the Leave No Trace program and had an enjoyable time working through activities such as Minimum Impact Match and the Leave What You Find drawing activity to demonstrate their grasp of the information we discussed.

The group was very animated about their sense of stewardship for public lands and overall commitment to the responsible enjoyment of outdoor recreation. We would like to send our appreciation to the staff at Outdoor Outreach for the opportunity to work with such awesome students and we are looking forward to seeing them all again in the future.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do you C.A.R.E. about your favorite campgrounds?

It's about that time of year for campgrounds across the country to open for the season. Today marked the annual Leisure Systems Inc. Campground Association for Recreation Education (CARE) conference. Over 75 recreation directors, campground owners and managers from Jellystone Parks gathered in Covington, KY to get tips on creating fantastic camping experiences for families. We were invited to speak at the conference and highlight the new partnership between Jellystone Parks and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. During our 4 hour presentation, the participants were eager to learn about the programs that the Center will be able to offer to their campgrounds all over the US and Canada. We are looking forward to building this partnership throughout the year, as the Traveling Trainers and the e-tour will be visiting some of the Jellystone Parks. Keep your eyes out for us, Yogi, Boo-boo, and all their friends this summer! A special thanks to Kelly Jones for inviting us to be a part of the conference!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Outdoor Ethics at the LA Fairgrounds

On Thursday of last week, we met with a Wildlife Conservation and Management class offered through the Regional Occupation Program (ROP) at the LA Fairplex in Pomona, CA. The ROP offers classroom experience and community-based internships to prepare students for industry-specific employment requirements. During the workshop, we introduced the 17 students to the Leave No Trace program by facilitating several activities including How Long Does it Last and Minimum Impact Match. Since these students will be going on an overnight trip in a couple of weeks and camping without any facilities, we discussed the significance of 200ft. in terms of disposing of human waste and camping away from water sources and trails. We also had the students break up into groups and perform a short skit on each of the seven principles of Leave No Trace.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, March 1, 2010

Outdoor Ethics Conference in KY

We arrived at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Kentucky yesterday to gear up for the Outdoor Ethics Conference that is being held here this week. After taking in the splendors of this park (hiking trails, fitness facilities, bird watching, and enjoying our morning coffee on our private waterfront balcony), we were amazed at all of the recreational opportunities this park has to offer. It is truly a 'resort park'. Lake Barkley is one of the two lakes that surrounds the beautiful Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. We had the opportunity to host a workshop for staff from Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky State Parks, and the Army Corps of Engineers this morning at Lake Barkley SRP. During the workshop, we introduced the Leave No Trace program and had some great discussions about impacts that are seen in these areas and how educating visitors with the Leave No Trace information can help to mitigate some of these impacts. In the photo above, Kate is leading the activity "The Ethics Game", one of our favorites. This was a great platform for the park staff to share how they are impacted by some of the issues that are seen in the outdoors and how that relates to their personal ethic. Through these healthy discussions, the group realized the importance of education in the outdoors.
We are looking forward to speaking tomorrow at the conference to staff from the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corp of Engineers, and Tread Lightly. This will be an impressive meeting of the minds!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy