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, November 30, 2011

Are You A "MAINE-iac" About Leave No Trace?

Freeport, ME.  This weekend marks the final Leave No Trace Backyard Session of the 2011 season.  Backyard Sessions provide a platform for Leave No Trace Master Educators, Trainers, volunteers, and supporters to find ways communities can incorporate Leave No Trace into all of the ways they live and play.  Throughout the 2011 season, more than a dozen sessions were held across the country.  We are excited to close out the season at L.L. Bean to work closely with the Maine State Advocates, Marcia and Gabe Williamson, Charlie Jacobi and others from the Maine Steering Committee, and many key volunteers that work hard to promote the Leave No Trace program in New England.

This weekend is also the Winter Sports Weekend at L.L. Bean.  This is a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping, test out some winter gear, take a clinic about winter camping or ice fishing, and learn about Leave No Trace! The Winter Sports Weekend begins Friday and will have free activities all weekend long.  Come check it out!

Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Friday, November 25, 2011

Picture of the Week 11/25/11

Marbled Orb Weaver Spider - Araneus marmoreus

We spotted this spider during a hike in North Carolina.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Way Back Wednesday: Walking on the Wild Side

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we would like to give thanks to all of the former Traveling Trainer teams that paved the way, or hiked the trail so to speak, for their efforts in making the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer program the success that it is today. Here is a blog written in 2008 by former Traveling Trainer Amy Allison. This blog reminds us about the importance of respecting wildlife and doing all we can to keep wildlife wild!
Click here to check out Amy's blog:  Walking on the Wild Side

Gobble, Gobble...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

San Gabriel River Hot Spot Training

Glendora, CA -

Earlier this week, Team West facilitated Leave No Trace educational trainings for the staff and volunteers who patrol and educate the general public on the San Gabriel River and in the mountains of the Angeles National Forest of southern California.

The San Gabriel river is located one hour east of Los Angeles, California and is enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors (see photo above) over the busiest weekends of the year. The primary partner awarded the Hot Spot grant is the West Fork San Gabriel River Conservancy who will be working closely with the Center for Outdoor Ethics to educate the public about enjoying this area responsibly so it can be preserved for future generations of outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Monday, November 21, 2011

Green Lakes State Park

 Fayetteville, NY.  On Friday, an extended training lent itself to a hike that explored a plethora of teachable moments.  Green Lakes State Park has a trail system, a disc golf course, an eighteen hole golf course, a playground, and an abundance of picnic tables.   All of these factors combined amounts to a front country area that is heavily impacted during times of high use.  Along our hike, we were able to talk about picking up microtrash, cleaning up after our pets, invasive species, and traveling on durable surfaces, particularly staying in the middle of a trail even when it's muddy.
Two of the most distinguishing features of the park,  are Green Lake and Round Lake.  Both Round and Green Lakes are meromictic lakes, which means that there is no fall and spring mixing of surface and bottom waters. Such lakes have a high potential for evidence of ancient plant and animal life.  Round Lake has been registered as a National Historic Landmark.  When you come upon these lakes, there is no question about how Green Lake received it's name!  If you are ever in the Central New York, be sure to make time to recreate in this gorgeous state park. 

Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Friday, November 18, 2011

Picture of the Week 11/18/11

An Oasis in the Desert

Borrego Palm Canyon in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Outdoor Adventures in San Diego

San Diego, CA - We spent this week in San Diego working with Outdoor Outreach and the Great Escapes program at Point Loma Nazarene University. Both programs take students on amazing outdoor adventures in the San Diego area and beyond.

Outdoor Outreach is a non-profit organization that serves at-risk and underprivileged youth through a variety of outdoor programs. Our first visit of the week was to KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy, where we introduced sixteen 7th and 8th grade boys to the basics of Leave No Trace. We followed this up with workshops with each of the Adventure Clubs that Outdoor Outreach has formed and facilitated in three San Diego High Schools: Crawford, Lincoln, and El Cajon Valley. Students participating in Adventure Club meet weekly after school to plan their trips and to participate in enrichment activities such as first-aid training, yoga, and Leave No Trace. The students also take part in environmental stewardship projects, such as beach clean-ups, and participate in monthly outdoor trips, which include rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, and overnight trips to Joshua Tree National Park. We introduced the Adventure Club members to the basics of Leave No Trace through a variety of interactive activities.

We completed our time in San Diego with a workshop for the leaders of the Great Escapes outdoor program at Point Loma Nazarene University. Nine leaders joined us to learn more about effectively communicating Leave No Trace. We introduced these motivated college students to the Authority of the Resource Technique and gave the students an opportunity to practice the technique through a series of skits.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Authority of the Resource Technique In Action

Pickens County, SC.  While hiking at Table Rock State Park in South Carolina, we came across this signage at the trailhead.  This sign does a great job of not only citing the expectations the rangers have for pet owners in the park, but it also explains the "whys" behind the regulations.  By educating visitors about why certain rules and regulations are in place allows the visitors to make more sound and responsible decisions while enjoying the parks resources.  This is an effective use of the Authority of the Resource Technique, a concept developed by a man named Dr. George N Wallace.  To learn more about this technique you can take a Leave No Trace Trainer Course or read the article by clicking here.
Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington

Medford, OR - On Saturday, 35 Girl Scouts, leaders, and parents chose to spend part of their day learning more about Leave No Trace. We explored the 7 principles of Leave No Trace through several activities including What Principle Am I? & Minimum Impact Match. Both of these activities can be found in the Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids (PEAK) pack, which is a great resource for scout leaders wanting to educate their troops about Leave No Trace in a fun and interactive way.

The scouts also put their artistic skills to use and made awesome posters illustrating the seven principles of Leave No Trace.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, November 14, 2011

Montreat College Embraces Leave No Trace

Outdoor Living Skills Class
Montreat, NC.  Traveling Trainers have had the pleasure of providing awareness workshops at Montreat College for a few consecutive years.  This year was no exception as we spent four days on their mountainous campus which is complete with its own challenging trail system. We had the opportunity to work with students from both the Outdoor Living Skills and Survey of Outdoor Education classes. Each class was filled with enthusiastic participants that were eager to learn about and discuss not only the 7 Leave No Trace principles, but also the ethics that accompany the program.  A special thank you to Andrew Bobilya and Ken Kalisch for providing future outdoor educators with a strong foundation of outdoor ethics.

Additionally, we also got to facilitate our 27th trainer course during the visit!  Five students from the outdoor education program dedicated their weekend to a backpacking Leave No Trace adventure.  We hiked along the Lookout Trail towards Buck Gap Shelter, where we would spend the night under the stars discussing ways to incorporate the Leave No Trace skills and ethics into all of their future outings.

Below, enjoy a slideshow from the course:

Thank you Bubbling Brook, Rapids, Mountain, Tree, and Changing Seasons for a memorable course!

Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Picture of the Week 11/11/11

Pinnacle Trail, Table Rock State Park, SC

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Team West Goes Back To School

Cave Junction, Oregon -

This week Team west has been traveling through southern Oregon and visiting with students to talk more about enjoying the outdoors responsibly. One of the many topics discussed has been the elusive nature of Bigfoot and how kids can learn more about the seven program principles while they participate in the Bigfoot Challenge online.

Above we see a few first graders excitedly offering their own ideas about taking care of nature and remembering to play safely and respectfully while enjoying their favorite outdoor activities!

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

If It's FREE, It's for ME!

Kate and Tracy visit their 40th National Park
 USA.  The time has come on this upcoming Veterans Day weekend for the Free Entrance Days in the National Parks.  That's right-FREE!  November 10-12 marks the last set of FEE-FREE days at National Parks in 2011.
Kate's family visits the Grand Canyon

 Grab your family,  grab your friends, and find a National Park in your neck of the woods.  Hike, paddle, camp, or bike your way through this Veterans Day weekend! 

Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Monday, November 7, 2011


Kate points out the Leave No Trace logo at the International AEE Conference

Jacksonville, FL.  The 39th Annual International Association for Experiential Education Conference took place this past weekend in Jacksonville, FL.  This conference brings together over 600 outdoor professionals to collaborate, network, learn, and teach about empowering individuals through experiential learning opportunities.  The theme of the conference was crossing, building, and being bridges.  Ultimately experiential education is a bridge between the content of learning (math, science, social science, humanities, history, etc) and activities to make the learning real, relevant, and part of the student's experience.  Taken further, it is a bridge between these activities and a learner's opportunity to learn about themselves-their power and connection to a larger community.  And beyond, it is about taking these activities and helping the individual see their role in making the world a more just and compassionate place.

We had the opportunity to present a 90 minute workshop on ways to incorporate Leave No Trace into educational programs.  The workshop provided a platform for discussing the importance of using hands-on, interactive lessons when teaching Leave No Trace and how critical it is to explain the how's and why's behind the skills and practices of Leave No Trace.  By utilizing these strategies, students can develop their own outdoor ethic and make sound decisions in the out of doors that will preserve and protect the quality of the resource.

Next stop...Montreat College!

Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Friday, November 4, 2011

Picture of the Week 11/4/11

South Sisters Wilderness, Oregon -

Team West enjoying the last few weeks of life on the road.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Educating Youth at Crooked River State Park

What gear should you bring on a day hike at Crooked River State Park to help you Leave No Trace?
Crooked River State Park, GA.  After spending a few glorious days backpacking along Cumberland Island National Seashore, Team East moved inland a few miles to Crooked River State Park for an evening of car camping, a nice hot shower (which was needed after hiking and playing in the sand for days), and a little time to regroup before our evening awareness workshop.
With so many bugs also enjoying the park that night, we decided to host the workshop inside the group shelter and spare everyone a few itchy bites.   More than 40 excited boy and girl scouts, along with their parents, came to the park to learn more about ways they can leave no trace when they are out with their scout troops.  The group learned a lot as we explored the seven principles of Leave No Trace through various activities including What Principle Am I? and How Long Does It Last?  from the PEAK Pack.  The PEAK Program, Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids, is an ideal resource for scout leaders to use while educating their troops about Leave No Trace.  It allows the children to explore the ideas of leave no trace in a fun and interactive way.  Another great resource is the book 101 Ways to Teach Leave No Trace.  Check them out in the store!  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5th Graders in Central Oregon Get Creative on Halloween Day

Leave What You Find by Megan

Redmond, OR - On Halloween Day, thinking about things other than candy and costumes is quite the task, especially if you're ten, but the 5th graders of Tom McCall Elementary School were excited to learn about Leave No Trace.

Be Careful With Fire by Aaliah

We decided to draw on the students' creative sides and have them illustrate what they learned about the 7 Leave No Trace Principles. Each student chose a principle to focus on and we've shared three of the drawings here.

Respect Wildlife by Garrett

We also visited three classes of high school students at Redmond Proficiency Academy, a unique charter school that serves ninth through twelfth grade students who desire a more interest-based or self-designed course of study, or who seek an accelerated course of study, or desire a non-seat time based schedule to meet their personal needs.

Trick or Treat,

Agata and Jason