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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Leave No Trace visits Colter Bay amphitheatre

Last week we had the opportunity to work with one of our partners, the Grand Teton Lodge Company, in the spectacular setting of Grand Teton National Park. Above we have a majestic view of the Tetons as the Traveling Trainers practice the principle Respect Wildlife and snap photos from a safe distance.

One of the evenings was spent at the Colter Bay amphitheater enjoying Leave No Trace educational activities with campers and park staff.
The venue was very conducive to audience participation and pictured above a few of the audience members take part in a discussion about decomposition rates of various types of trash found in both front and backcountry settings.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Monday, June 28, 2010

Saco River Outreach

Every summer thousands of people pack up their camping gear (which usually includes everything but the kitchen sink), load up their canoes, kayaks, floats, and rafts, and spend the weekend on the Saco River in Maine. With so many paddlers on the river, it is critical that everyone practices Leave No Trace in order to preserve the beautiful, clear waters of the Saco. We were fortunate to work with Michelle Broyer of the Saco River Recreation Council, two of her interns, and one of the river runners this weekend, as we teamed up to educate the paddlers before they journeyed on the river. Michelle and her staff are dedicated to protecting this river, that years ago was known to be a "Rated R" area, due to the amount of partying, trash, and foul language. They are working diligently to change this image and we could clearly see the positive outcomes of their efforts. We applaud Michelle Broyer for all her work in implementing Leave No Trace along the river!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Picture of the Week 6/25/2010

The City of Rocks in Idaho

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grand Teton National Park visit

We spent this week at Grand Teton National Park presenting five awareness workshops for Grand Teton Lodge Company staff, guests, and national park staff. Pictured above is one of the youngest and most enthusiastic fans of Leave No Trace we have ever met. This young man helped us run "What Principle Am I?" for a group of workshop attendees and eagerly participated in a round of "How Long Does it Last?"

Below we have a shot of the new 2010 Subaru Outback with a view of the Grand Tetons in the background. Definitely one of the most scenic "commutes" to work for the Traveling Trainers!

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kicking Off Summer Camp Season In PA

School is out and it is time for summer camps to get rolling. We made our first visit to camp in Reading, PA to work with a dynamic group of teenagers attending an Environmental Leadership Camp at Alvernia University. This group was getting ready to head to Camp Joy for an overnight camping trip, so our timing was spot on. We discussed ways the teens could incorportate Leave No Trace into their outing. After a round of Minimum Impact Match, we challenged the group to a game of Leave No Trace Jeopardy. This provided a great opportunity to discuss the theory of Leave No Trace before they head out in the field to put it into practice. We wish all the best to future leaders in the environmental field.
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Catching up with Ketchum

Last week we had the chance to visit beautiful Ketchum, ID to enjoy the historic Sun Valley and all the outdoor recreation we could handle! During the stay we were treated to scenic hikes throughout the valley and even had an impromptu invitation to work with the campers in the Wood River Community YMCA!

In the first picture, we have a moment of exploration and inspiration as the campers discuss their ideas for their own Nature name tags in Forest Service town park. In the second photo, we enter into a sea of peaks as the Traveling Trainers top out on Mt. Baldy on a sunny afternoon in the mountains.

Many "thanks" to our friend Danny Walton for keeping the Mountain Niceness at an all time high.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Monday, June 21, 2010

Outdoor Nation Youth Summit

This weekend we travelled to Central Park in New York City to take part in the world's first Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival. This event united young people from across the country with a common mission: To champion the outdoors and start a youth-driven movement. 500 young people from all 50 states came out to take part in a ground-breaking Outdoor Youth Summit-where young leaders develop a national agenda, set priorities and outline strategies to champion the outdoors as athletes, artists, advocates, and ambassadors. Outdoor Nation is supported by a coalition of more than 40 organizations including The Outdoor Foundation, The North Face, REI, and the National Park Service.
One of the main issues discussed was how to get more urban youth outdoors and build their connection with nature. Children ages 6-11 years old are spending an average of 30 hours a week in front of a screen, whether it is for homework, television, or video games. This summit provided a platform to explore ways to break this trend and encourage children to get outside more! The discussions were focused on several different areas including diversity, outdoor careers, health and active lifestyles, media and culture, outdoor service, and recreation and education.
It is so exciting to be a part of such a ground-breaking movement in the outdoor industry. The youth involved in this summit should be commended for their efforts towards building a larger outdoor nation! Stay tuned for more information, as we watch this group work towards creating initiatives that will change the lives of America's youth.
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Hampshire Trainer Course

Lew Shelley, New Hampshire state advocate, for the second consecutive year hosted a Leave No Trace Trainer course out of Student Conservation Association (SCA) headquarters in Charlestown, NH. We appreciate Lew's dedication to the Leave No Trace program and his efforts to continue to get staff trained from the SCA.

The course began at headquarters, then we travelled to Pilsbury State Park for the remainder of the course. During the Leave What You Find lesson, we encouraged course participants to get in touch with their artistic sides and write a poem. Sue beautifully scripted a poem that included each participants 'nature name' from the previous day.

The inspiration of a vista, a panorama, or a cloud
Help me feel the beauty of falling rain
to hear the splendor of a waterfall
to see the wonder of a trout
and to touch the life of a forest

Well said Sue! All five participants brought a creative energy to the course and we had many many thoughtful discussions. It is truly amazing to work with a group of people so dedicated to education and we know that these five people will do great work as Leave No Trace Trainers. Thanks for an awesome course!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, June 18, 2010

Picture of the week 6/18/10-Connecting Kids To Nature

Cub Scouts enjoying the early morning mist.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

National Get Outdoors Day

Saturday, June 12th was National Get Outdoors Day! This annual event across the country is designed to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. We were invited by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to attend the National Get Outdoors Day event held in Vancouver, Washington. Woodsy Owl, Ranger Rick, and Smokey Bear checked out our Crime Scene Camp and figured out the different ways in which campers were not practicing Leave No Trace. Numerous families attended the event and enjoyed the Crime Scene Camp as well as the Leave No Trace information we shared at our booth.

All the best...

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Caching" In At Kettletown State Park, CT

The eighth annual Geo Jamboree was held under rainy skies this past weekend in Southbury, CT. The rain could not deter the crowd of nearly 250 geocache enthusiasts from hitting the trails. With more than 35 caches in the park, Kettletown State Park was an ideal location for the event. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics' latest reference hang tag provides minimum impact techniques to practice while geocaching. Click here if you are interested in purchasing a geocaching hang tag for your own personal use.

During the month of June, the first challenge of the Bigfoot Challenge is to bring and extra bag on your next outing and pick up any trash you find on the trail. Many of the folks we signed up for the Bigfoot Challenge reported that "Cache In, Trash Out" was their mantra and they didn't need to challenge themselves to do it, they were already practicing it! In the photo above, a kayaking geocacher takes the Bigfoot Challenge.
We were pleased to be a part of the Jamboree again this year and be able to share ways the geocaching community can practice Leave No Trace during all of their future outings.
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gifford Pinchot Trainer Course

Last week, we facilitated a Trainer Course for staff from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The training took place at the historic Wind River Training Center and offered an opportunity to work with a variety of backcountry rangers, trail crews, and administrative personnel.

The course focused on communicating Leave No Trace practices to various user groups in the field, and provided an opportunity for dialogue among three ranger districts about how they were promoting low impact recreation and stewardship to the recreational communities enjoying the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

The first picture above shows the whole group in front of our new Subaru Outback! The second picture above captured a moment in which the participants are learning about the principle Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces while enjoying a round of Step On It on the Dry Creek trail. Below the crew celebrates a successful round of Campfire Scramble while learning about alternatives to campfires in the field.

Thank you to Gabe Snider for inviting us to work with the staff in the southern Cascades!

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Friday, June 11, 2010

Picture of the Week 6/11/2010

The view of Mt. Rainier and the crater from the top of Mt. St. Helens.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A week at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Saturday marked the kick off to our week of events at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Saturday was National Trails Day, American Hiking Society's signature trail awareness program, created to inspire the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to seek out their favorite trails to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail work projects.

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Saint Helens Institute, and the Washington Trails Association put on a work party to celebrate National Trails Day and invited us to give a few short presentations to the volunteers doing trail work that day. Congratulations to the very first group to arrange the trash perfectly in How Long Does It Last!

On Sunday, we offered a more in-depth presentation at the Forest Service Headquarters in Vancouver, WA and enjoyed a rainy day with staff and volunteers in a 3 hour Awareness Workshop.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gifts for Dads or Grads!

June marks a busy time of year with many students graduating from high school and college, as well as Father's Day coming up right around the corner (June 20th, for those who may have forgot). Are you stuck for a gift idea? We have the solution for you. Why not give a one-year membership to Leave No Trace?
Members of Leave No Trace receive many great benefits including:
  • One year subscription to Learn.Network.Together., Leave No Trace's electronic newsletters that keep you updated on programs;
  • Personalized Leave No Trace membership card;
  • The Membership Resource Guide to help you get involved and stay connected;
  • Invitations to attend events and presentations in your area by others in the Leave No Trace community;
  • 10% discounts on Leave No Trace educational materials and merchandise;
  • Receive 10% off your gourmet backcountry purchase at PackIt Gourmet [email us for your password].
  • The Leave No Trace bumper sticker and reference card;
  • Memberships of $35 or more will receive either a limited edition Member t-shirt or a Leave No Trace waterbottle;
  • Eligibility for the Subaru VIP Partners Program after six months of being a member, helping you save as much as $3,300 when you purchase or lease a new Subaru;
  • Unique discount opportunities from other Leave No Trace partners for cool schwag and gear;
  • Access to the on-line Coleman Pro Store (email us for your password), to take advantage of exclusive prices on quality outdoor gear and accessories;
  • Satisfaction that you are furthering your essential role in spreading Leave No Trace.
What grad or dad wouldn't enjoy those benefits? Signing up couldn't be easier, just click here for more information! Join the expanding community of Leave No Trace members today!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Deschutes National Forest Trainer Course

Last week we led a trainer course for the Deschutes National Forest and Pacific Crest Trail Association staff as part of their Allingham training weekend, which included numerous classes on trail construction and maintenance skills, stewardship, and first aid to follow our Leave No Trace trainer course. Highlights of the trainer course included a great group of high-energy participants, including two women from Eastern Siberia who were on an exchange program with the forest service from Lake Baikal.

Thanks to Kit Dickey, the Deschutes National Forest Volunteer Coordinator, for organizing this trainer course!

All the best...

Agata and Jason

Monday, June 7, 2010

Connecticut Rivers Council Scout Show

Over the weekend, we provided outreach at the Hebron Lions Club Fairgrounds to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America with the Connecticut Rivers Council. An estimated 10,ooo Scouts and their families were on hand to join in the celebration. We met many Leave No Trace Trainers and Master Educators throughout the day, including Rex McRee, the Connecticut State Adcovate who generously provided us with a tasty lunch. We enjoyed booth space adjacent to Master Educator Scott Elkins who shared information specific to the guidelines of the Boy Scout Leave No Trace Achievement Award as well as information about upcoming trainer courses that are being offered. Thanks to all of the volunteers who donated their time to spread Leave No Trace awareness throughout the day!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adirondack Mountain Club

We spent the weekend in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid, NY. We had a fabulous time at the Adirondack Loj providing outreach at the popular Marcy Dam Trailhead, presenting a Friday evening campfire chat, and a Saturday evening Awareness Workshop at the High Peaks Wilderness Visitor Center. It was a very busy weekend at the Loj and we were able to talk to many visitors about the necessary use of a bear canister in the Eastern High Peaks region, proper disposal of human waste in the backcountry, and the importance of planning ahead for their trip.
On our off time, we explored the beautiful mountains with Kate's family. This shot was taken on top of Mount Jo, a short hike right near the Adirondack Loj. It was so nice to spend the weekend with family and friends!

This is a photo of the ADK Trail Crew leader on his way out to the High Peaks Wilderness. Check out the size of that bear canister! A special thanks to Ryan Doyle for making our stay so comfortable and everything the Adirondack Mountain Club does for Leave No Trace!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy