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 29, 2010

Picture of the Week 10/29/10

Hiking at Max Patch in the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Fall Visit to Western North Carolina

We spent an exciting week in western North Carolina hiking in the rain, teaching at Montreat College and REI, and visiting friends. We started the week off exploring the Smoky Mountains and enjoying the wonderful fall colors. On Tuesday, we drove up to Montreat College, a small Christian college nestled in the mountains. In our first session, we introduced Dr. Andrew Bobilya's Survey of Outdoor Education class to Leave No Trace. The class was so enthusiastic that almost all of the students chose to stay for the optional second session, which was a more advanced discussion focusing on outdoor ethics and how to teach Leave No Trace to a variety of audiences.

On Wednesday evening, after another day of exploring the mountains in the rain, we held a PEAK training workshop at Asheville's REI. The participants were excited to learn how they could incorporate the PEAK program into their various organizations. The picture above is a window into the REI presentation with Master Educator Jay Schoon attempting to figure out what he is during Minimum Impact Match.

We also had the pleasure of catching up with North Carolina's state advocates Amy and Dusty Allison and the youngest junior state advocate Bridger Allison. While at the Allisons we had a mini-reunion from a frozen Floridian Master Educator course with Justion Doroshenko and Jay Schoon.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Any Leave No Trace Themed Costumes Out There?

October is rapidly coming to a close and we all know what that means. It's time to get those costumes out of the closet! What creative ensemble will you come up this year?

With so many Bigfoot sightings lately, it makes us wonder, will any of you be showing your Leave No Trace spirit this Halloween? Please share with us any spook-tacular Leave No Trace costumes you will be sporting this weekend. Boo knows, there may be a ghostly prize awarded to the best garb!

Happy Halloween Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ScoutFest Southern Style in Atlanta, Georgia

On Saturday October 23rd we were invited to talk with Boy Scouts of all ages from the Atlanta area council at Scoutfest 2010. The crowds visiting the Leave No Trace booth were excited to learn more about outdoor ethics and take home a few of our free educational materials. Above we have a crew of Cub Scouts talking about the PEAK program principles and how they will be enjoying the outdoors responsibly on their next adventure. We also connected with leaders who were interested in learning more about how to request a free visit with the Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers.

Looking down the road we are visiting a few friends in the Great Smoky Mountains from Montreat College and the REI store in Asheville, NC.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Monday, October 25, 2010

Outreach in New Mexico

Last week we traveled to Farmington, NM to spend time with students at San Juan College and to visit past traveling trainers JD & Emily. San Juan College has a fantastic outdoor program, which takes full advantage of the plethora of recreational opportunities in the area. We provided a two hour training for students of the Wilderness Pursuits class, as well as staff of the Outdoor Recreation Rental Center and others from the local community. Thanks to JD for setting up this event!

On Saturday, we worked with girl scouts in Aztec, NM. Over 30 girl scouts and their parents came to learn about ways to incorporate Leave No Trace into their outings. The girls had a blast playing a few of our PEAK activities, like What Principle Am I?, How Long Does It Last?, and Leave No Trace Draw. After the program, we went outside to get a group photo, and to our surprise Bigfoot came around the corner! All of the girls were so excited to see Bigfoot and get their picture taken with him. Thanks to Emily for helping to set up this visit!
We had a great time catching up with JD and Emily and look forward to seeing them again soon!
Happy Adventuring...Kate & Tracy

Friday, October 22, 2010

Picture of the Week 10/22/10

An Eagle Scout project that we came across while hiking in Lost Watchman State Park outside of Phoenix, AZ

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tracking Bigfoot in the Ivy League

The fall tour for Team East has taken many enjoyable and interesting turns over the past few months. Besides facilitating Leave No Trace Awareness Workshops and offering educational outreach throughout the east, we have been assigned to some very curious duties as well. We were recently brought in to investigate another Bigfoot sighting near the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Pictured above is the preschool student, the ever observant Sebastian Halpern, who called in the alleged sighting on his way to campus. We receive so many dubious claims of "Bigfoot in my community" that we felt compelled to check this out personally. It seems the young man was on to something based on the evidence we have on film.

If you are interested in seeing the elusive Bigfoot check out the Bigfoot Challenge at the Leave No Trace website yourself.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Splendid National Parks

For the past decade, we have been on a mission to get to all 58 of the magnificent National Parks that our country has to offer.  Our time working with Leave No Trace has helped us travel through parks 31-43 on our list!  The latest two we were able to check off were Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in California.  

Located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, both of these parks are inspiring in their own ways.  In Kings Canyon, you cannot help but ponder how a river could have carved such an immense canyon.  The short drive to Sequoia leads you into grove upon grove of towering giants.  Did you know that of the 75 or so sequoia groves in the world, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks protect 29 of them! 

Within the limits of Sequoia NP stands the General Sherman Tree.  Pound for pound, this is the largest living organism in the whole world!  Being in the presence of this colossal tree creates a feeling of indescribable emotion.  There are so many beautiful places to play in the United States.  Team West would like to remind you to have fun, be responsible, and Leave No Trace while you are out there enjoying the outdoors.

Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Outreach with Venturing Crew 502

On Saturday, we had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Venturing Crew 502 at ScoutFest 100 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. While we did general outreach, Rachel, Scott, Kaitlin, Katrina, and Mary excelled at facilitating "Camp Oh-No" with over 300 young scouts and their families. Venturing is a program of the Boy Scouts of America and the program's purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Crew 502 did an excellent job teaching younger scouts about the importance of Leave No Trace and developing a sense of stewardship of the outdoors.

On Monday evening, we set up in the middle of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports and held an awareness workshop for 19 local outdoor enthusiasts interested in learning more about Leave No Trace.

A special thanks to Donna and Jim Shannon for hosting us!

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, October 18, 2010

Outreach in Arizona

Usually in our blogs we highlight events of the week and recap the trainings and outreach we have provided. Today, we would like to highlight events we have coming up this week in the Phoenix area. This evening, we will be providing two PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) training at REI. The first will be at 4:00 pm at REI Tempe. We will then travel to Paradise Valley for another PEAK training at 7:00 pm. If you live in the Phoenix area and work with youth, come check out the training and learn about PEAK!
Tomorrow, we will be visiting the Phoenix Rock Gym in Tempe, AZ. We will be there from 7-9 pm to provide outreach to the many climbers visiting the gym. There will be competitive climbing going on- it should be rocking! Thanks to Climb PHX for inviting us to the gym!
Happy Adventuring...Kate & Tracy

Friday, October 15, 2010

Picture of the Week 10/15/10

Enjoying the fall colors from the Sunset Ridge Trail on Mt. Mansfield in Vermont.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The North Face Speaker Series-Burlington, VT

On Wednesday evening this week we had the chance to catch up with with world class climber and professional photographer Jimmy Chin in Burlington, Vermont. Jimmy was presenting as a part of the Never Stop Exploring Speaker Series sponsored by our friends at The North Face.
Jimmy was very low key about his personal achievements and focused his presentation around the people who he has pursued his passions alongside and the incredible places he has the opportunity to visit around the world.

In a rare moment of free time Jimmy was able to pose for the picture above with Team East of the Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers. The crowds passing by throughout the evening were very interested in the educational materials provided, but even more so with the instant classic "Don't topple the lip balm tower" activity at the booth!

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Road Wisdom: The Word on Gear.

Life as Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers necessitates gear that is comfortable, dependable, and of high-quality. During our two seasons on the road, spanning 20 months with over 400 nights spent camping, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge our gratitude to the very partners that aid in our comfort and help us to provide stellar outreach across the country. From each of our outfitting partners, we have selected one piece of gear that has withstood the test of time and travel.

➢ The fall season is upon us and with summer-time Chaco tan lines all but a fading memory, the timing could not have been better to test out the Chaco Ped Shed. These super comfortable shoes are waterproof, making them perfect for spending time outdoors in rain or snow this season!

➢ When space is of the essence, Coleman Origami Dishware is the perfect solution. These dishes are ideal for any camping trip, whether it is a weekend at your local state park, or a week in the backcountry! They are light-weight, virtually unbreakable, and have a non-stick, easy to clean surface.

➢ Each morning we awake in the great outdoors and greet the day. Our morning would not be complete with out a good cup of bean to get the day rolling. This year we received the MSR Reactor Stove System- the fastest and most fuel-efficient stove system in the world. With an unrivaled boil time, it has the ability to boil a liter of water in just three minutes. Whether it is just the two of us, or on a Leave No Trace Trainer Course with 12 participants, everyone is sure to have boiled water in a hurry!

➢ By night fall, we slip on our Smartwool Base Layers and prepare for the cool fall evenings at camp. Just last week we woke up to our first morning of frost and were able to stay comfortable and cozy in our base layers. Smartwool also rewards new members of Leave No Trace at Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer events, by donating a pair of socks to anyone who joins the individual membership program.

➢ After the stars come out and it is time to retire for the evening, we add an extra layer of warmth to our sleeping bags with the Therm-A-Rest Ventra Down Comforter. These lightweight blankets are perfect as part of a sleep system, or on their own around camp. This makes our camping experience truly luxurious!

➢ The success of the Traveling Trainer Program is due in large part to the title sponsor of the program. Subaru of America has been an integral part of “Education in Motion” for the past twelve years. With their support, the traveling trainers are able to reach millions of outdoors enthusiasts with the Leave No Trace information annually.

These companies have invested in Leave No Trace in tremendous ways, making it possible to provide quality and effective training nation wide. We deeply appreciate all of their contributions and would like to encourage you to support these companies that care about the preservation and conservation of lands shared by the public! Thank you for all you do for Leave No Trace!

Happy Adventuring…Kate and Tracy, Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Outreach in Maine

This past weekend we spent a few chilly days enjoying the sunshine and mesmerizing colors of autumn in Maine. In the photo below, Agata shares some of the free educational materials available at an outreach event at the flagship L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine with two very motivated outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The couple in the photo had recently climbed Mount Rainier and were interested in how they could enjoy the outdoors more responsibly and support Leave No Trace.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bigfoot Sighting-Tahoe Mountain Sports

Bigfoot is at it again! Lately, it would appear that the illusive Bigfoot has been coming out of the woods to join in on getting the communities in the Sierra Nevadas to rally around outdoor activities and more importantly to Leave No Trace while enjoying the outdoors. His latest conquest was to visit Tahoe Mountain Sports on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Tahoe Mountain Sports spent the weekend sponsoring the 4th annual Lake Tahoe Disc Golf Tournament. Stay tuned for more information on how Bigfoot and Tahoe Mountain Sports will work together in the up coming weeks...
Happy Adventuring...Kate & Tracy

Friday, October 8, 2010

Picture of the Week 10/8/10

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, ID

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are there really Tigers, Wolves, and Bears in Connecticut?

Earlier this week, we met with Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and even some Webelos from two seaside towns in Connecticut. For those not familiar with the Boy Scouts of America, these are the different levels of the Cub Scouts, the scouting program designed for boys in 1st - 5th grade.

Both packs invited us to help the young scouts earn their Leave No Trace Awareness Award. We started off with an overview of the Leave No Trace principles and then tested the boys' knowledge by facilitating the PEAK activity Minimum Impact Match. The boys had a great time figuring out what piece of gear they were and did an excellent job explaining how they helped leave no trace while enjoying their favorite outdoor activities. To earn their awards they will also have to practice the Leave No Trace principles on three separate outings and participate in a Leave No Trace-related service project.

Keep an eye open for team East in Windsor, Maine this weekend for another fall centennial celebration with the Boy Scouts of America!

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Humboldt State University

Yesterday, we went back to college for the day! We were invited to speak during 3 of Professor Paul Marsh's courses. In the first class, Leisure and Society, we introduced the students to the PEAK program and the Frontcountry program. The second class, Leisure Programming, was dedicated to informing the students about the partnership structure within Leave No Trace and highlighting the relationship between Subaru and the Travelling Trainer program. In between the second and third class, we had some quality outreach in "the quad", the University's busy central location. A special thanks to Kelsey for showing us around and helping us out with setup. In Paul's final class, Outdoor Adventure Recreation, we taught a lesson on Disposing of Waste Properly and had a thoughtful discussion in a round of the Ethics Game. The class had just returned from a 3 day back packing trip. The picture above is a panoramic view with Marble Mountain to the left and Monument Lake to the right. We appreciate Kevin submitting the picture from their adventure. It was a successful day of outreach at Humboldt State and we look forward to future events there!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Presenting PEAK

After waking up and stepping outside of our tent last Thursday in Bozeman, MT, we were greeted by 32 degree weather and our very first bout with frost this season. The cool, crisp air was a reminder that fall is certainly upon all that live in the Northwest.
We spent the morning exploring Hyalite Canyon where there is an endless supply of hiking and biking trails.

After a pleasant hike, it was back to town to get prepared for our PEAK (Promoying Environmental Awareness in Kids) presentation at the Bozeman REI, a store that had just opened a few months prior to our arrival. Theresa Larson, the Outreach Specialist, extended the invitation to folks in the community, so as a result, we drew a pretty diverse crowd. There were Scout Leaders, a middle school teacher, a retired teacher, a family that home schools their children, and REI staff.

As your Fall activities get into full swing, keep in mind that Leave No Trace practices extend far beyond the scope of hiking and camping. The beauty of Leave No Trace is that it cam be seemlessly incorporated into any human powered recreation. We would like to present you with a challenge: In this "PEAK" foliage time of year, take a child into the great outdoors and introduce them to a new activity. Are you up for the challenge? Remember, enjoying the outdoors responsibly-happens all year round!

Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Star Spangled Banner Camporee

Last weekend we were at Fort McHenry National Monument for the Star Spangled Banner Camporee as guests of the Baltimore Area Council. The setting was absolutely perfect for the estimated 5500 visitors to enjoy learning more about American history and celebrating the centennial year of the Boy Scouts of America.

Pictured above is a view from Fort McHenry site of the Battle of Baltimore. During the War of 1812 Francis Scott Keyes observed a battle there that inspired the poem, "The Star Spangled Banner," that later became our national anthem.

Below we have a few scouts excitedly displaying the PEAK ethics reference tag they have earned at the booth by answering questions about responsible outdoor recreation during the always popular Bear Can trivia challenge.

Our upcoming events have us headed into the heart of New England for a few days enjoying the shades of autumn and the last few months of the 2010 season.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Friday, October 1, 2010

Picture of the Week 10/1/10

The Gladie Cabin located in the Red River Gorge Geological Area. This restored log cabin dates back to the late 1800's.