The Adventure Junkies is a place to learn more about a new outdoor activity without any knowledge or previous experience required. By combining actionable digital resources and a supportive online community, they make getting out into nature a possibility for anyone. The Hiking resource page in one of my favorites! The Day Hiking Resources page at The […]
Top 20 Outdoor Blogs! I enjoy exploring blogs about outdoor adventure activities, and I am sure some of you do also! These are some resources to share with your students as you finish your school year and plan for your next summer adventure! Blogs are a great way to learn more about activities you were introduced to […]
Top 20 Outdoor Blogs!
I enjoy exploring blogs about outdoor adventure activities, and I am sure some of you do also! These are some resources to share with your students as you finish your school year and plan for your next summer adventure! Blogs are a great way to learn more about activities you were introduced to in your school outdoor adventure course. Choose an area that most interests you, choose a blog to follow and then plan to expand your knowledge over the summer! You may want to write your own blog about your experiences and then share with others to help them with their adventures. Blogs are awesome resources…and FUN for teachers and students!
Click on the link above to see the top 20 Outdoor Adventure Blogs chosen from over 200 blogs! Author Justin Archer gives you a guide for exploring the best Outdoor Adventure Blogs and learning or expanding your knowledge about adventure activities! Each of the TOP 20 bloggers describes why they believe an outdoor lifestyle is better for everyone. Happy summer and happy learning from the managers at Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation (OTF)! We look forward to continued work in the Fall 2019!
Here are the Top 20 Blogs
Thanks to Tari Garner, OA Manager, for this week’s blog!
In this day and age of technological breakthroughs, everyone would agree that it has its pros and cons. While mobile phones, the Internet, or the basic computer have made everyone’s lives better, it is still undeniable that this technology has also caused a few other activities to be pushed aside. Walk around the streets and […]
SUMMER SAFETY IN THE OUTDOORS Staying safe in the heat and humidity The No. 1 concern for summer safety is the heat issue. “Heat affects old and young. It does not discriminate. If you don’t catch dehydration early, it becomes heat stroke,”. Here are some of the signs of dehydration to watch for: · Chills […]
SUMMER SAFETY IN THE OUTDOORS
Staying safe in the heat and humidity
The No. 1 concern for summer safety is the heat issue. “Heat affects
old and young. It does not discriminate. If you don’t catch
dehydration early, it becomes heat stroke,”.
Here are some of the signs of dehydration to watch for:
· Poor heart rate
· Pale, moist skin
· Muscle cramps
“Hydration is the key.” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) every child
while active, depending on his/her weight, needs 10-20 gulps of water every 20 minutes.
“Hydrate before, during and after exercise,” Tesoro added.
If it appears you’ve waited too long and there are symptoms of a heat illness, here are his
suggestions for treatment: rapid cooling – get victim in shade or indoors; remove any
equipment; cold water immersion either by spraying with a hose or cold water sponging
over the entire body; drink cool beverages and get medical assistance. Don’t wait for
emergency crews to arrive to begin these actions because it could be too late, plan ahead,
don’t overestimate your abilities and to have good communication. In the case of summer
sports, improve communication with coaches, parents and athletes. “It comes down to
knowing yourself,” Tesoro said.
Too often in the news we hear about children accidentally left in hot vehicles. According to
the Department of Children and Families (DCF), a car’s temperature can rise 19 degrees
in 10 minutes time. They advise you to never leave your child alone in a car. Earlier this
year the Florida legislature passed a law protecting people who see an animal or person
locked inside a hot car. People can now smash a window to rescue them without facing
legal action if the car’s owner wants to sue for damages. The law requires that rescuers
call 9-1-1 immediately after they break into a car, and stay with the vehicle until first
Another sad call responders receive is to rush to the scene of a potential drowning
victim – be it at a pool, a pond or a public beach. DCF says it is important to teach children
to know the difference between open water and pools, only swim in designated areas
with buddies, and never dive head first into water if you don’t know the depth. Always keep
safety equipment nearby for emergencies, supervise children in and around water, learn
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and install a four-sided fence around home pools,
the CDC advises.
Sun exposure should be of concern for all ages. The CDC reports that just a few sunburns
can increase the incidence of skin cancer later in life. The skin needs protection from
ultraviolet rays. They recommend covering up and using sunscreen with a sun protection
factor (SPF) of at least 15 that protects against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.
Keeping food safe as the summer heats up
“Wash your hands.” There is no vaccine or medical intervention that can save as many
lives as simple hand washing. Wash hands thoroughly in warm, soapy w
soapy water for at least 20 seconds.”
· Use a food thermometer. “Relying on the color is not foolproof.”
· Clean it up. “All surfaces should be cleaned with hot, soapy water before and after use.
Use paper towels or wipes to clean up spills as opposed to using the same dishtowel. This
prevents spreading harmful bacteria. Prevent cross contamination by using separate
cutting boards for raw meat and poultry from the cutting board used for ready-to-eat
foods. Cover raw meat and poultry in sealed containers and place on the bottom shelf of
the refrigerator to prevent the raw meat juices from dripping onto other foods and
· Safely store leftovers. “As the temperature goes up, the amount of time perishable foods
can remain sitting out goes down. Set an alarm or timer to remind you to refrigerate or
freeze leftovers within two hours of serving. At your next outdoor event where the weather
is 90 degrees F or above, throw away any foods left within one hour of serving,” Golden
Make sure your cooking area is clean, cook food to the proper temperature and discard
perishable items that have been out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. Other
recommendations include only grilling outdoors; place grill away from buildings, deck
railings, and overhanging trees or objects; keep children and pets away from the grilling
area; keep the grill clean by removing grease or buildup from grates and the bottom tray;
use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of food – 145 degrees for whole
meats, 160 for ground meats and 165 for poultry; and never leave the grill unattended.
Those pesky mosquitoes
During the wet summer season, Dr. Mary Beth Saunders, medical director of Epidemiology
and Infection Prevention for Lee Memorial Health System, is most concerned about
mosquito bites and the infections and secondary (bacterial) infections they can cause..”
To avoid mosquito bites while outdoors, she suggests wearing long sleeves, pants and
EPA-recommended mosquito repellent. DEET is the best all-purpose repellent, but do not
use this on babies less than two months old. Babies can be covered with clothing and
mosquito netting. For older children, use one with less than 30 percent DEET and for
people who are out in the heat for prolonged periods of time, use 50 percent or higher.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations: Don’t apply to open cuts or abrasions, don’t
apply near eyes or mouth, don’t let your children apply it themselves, you may apply
repellent to clothing, and be sure to wash your skin and clothes afterwards. If you do get a
mosquito bite, Saunders said, please get medical attention if you have pain, redness or a
rash at the bite area and are running a fever.
Read the full article from News-Press.
Thanks to Mike Petrick, OA Manager, for this great information.
From Bonnie Newcombe, Outdoor Adventures Manager. Yea! It’s feeling more and more like fall! I hope your year is off to a good start! Archery is one of the BEST units in the OA curriculum. It is a sport in which all people can participate. If your students think it is toooooo hard for them, […]
From Bonnie Newcombe, Outdoor Adventures Manager. Yea! It’s feeling more and more like fall! I hope your year is off to a good start! Archery is one of the BEST units in the OA curriculum. It is a sport in which all people can participate. If your students think it is toooooo hard for them, pull up this video and let then watch Matt Stutzman, a disabled archer, gain a world record! Just proof archery is for EVERYONE!
For naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts, smartphones can be an amazing tool for learning about the natural world, collecting data and navigating the outdoors
Smartphones are the ultimate technological multitool. They combine a computer, a camera, a camcorder, a GPS, a compass, a flashlight, a phone and access to a library of information, all in a handheld device that fits comfortably in your pocket.
For naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts, smartphones can be an amazing tool for learning about the natural world, collecting data and navigating the outdoors. The key for turning your smartphone into the ultimate outdoor tool lies in the apps you purchase.
There are many excellent apps for both the iPhone and Android operating systems; however, finding the good ones can be a challenge.
I researched many outdoor apps while developing my own iPhone app called iTrack Wildlife, which is a photographic guide to the tracks, scats, skulls and signs of 65 mammals of North America. I learned that the best apps are simple and intuitive and present complex topics in a way that is both engaging and understandable.
Smartphones can be handy tools for the outdoors. These are several of my favorite apps for the outdoors:
iBird Pro (iPhone, Android, $19.99-$29.99). There are many good birding apps. But iBird Pro has an exceptional user interface and great content with detailed information, paintings, photographs and several song variations for 926 North American birds. It also has an elaborate search function for finding birds by various field marks.
Audubon Apps (iPhone, Android, $5–$20+). Audubon makes many nature apps, including those covering birds, mammals, butterflies, insects and spiders, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers, mushrooms and fish. While the standard user interface is a little awkward, for many taxonomic groups Audubon offers the best guides available. It also offers a Texas compilation guide that is the equivalent of 10 field guides for $9.99.
Maps and Navigation
MotionX GPS (iPhone, 99 cents). This excellent GPS and navigation app is loaded with features, has a beautiful user interface and allows downloading of various maps for use outside of cellular range.
GPS Essentials (Android, free). A great free GPS app for Android with many of the same features as MotionX GPS.
GeographTX (iPhone, $4.99). This unique app can display dozens of different map layers such as vegetation, geology, hydrology, terrain, public lands, land use and more.
Maplets (iPhone, $2.99). Enables users to download official park and recreation maps for thousands of sites across the country. Other maps often don’t have details like trail names, campsite numbers, etc.
Topo Maps (iPhone, $7.99). Provides downloadable, GPS-enabled, USGS topographic maps for the entire U.S. This app is extremely handy for traveling in remote areas without a cellular connection.
Star Walk (iPhone, $2.99). Put a planetarium in your pocket. This app uses the compass and accelerometer in your phone so that the view is always properly aligned with the stars you’re seeing. It’s an incredible tool for learning constellations, planets and stars.
Google Sky Map (Android, free). Very similar to Star Walk, but it’s free.
Theodolite (iPhone, Android, $3.99). Combines the camera in your phone with a compass and accelerometer to overlay information such as altitude, direction, location and angle on photographs. Great for documenting the exact location of a photograph so the subject can be found again later.
iNaturalist (iPhone, Android, free). Allows citizen scientists to participate in research projects and submit sightings to an online database where other users can assist in identifications.
While smartphones can greatly enhance our enjoyment of outdoors, there are drawbacks. First, smartphones are fragile and their batteries are short-lived, especially while using GPS. They are great for navigation, but should never be relied upon entirely. Second, remember that the goal of using nature apps is to learn about nature, not to play with your phone while in the outdoors. This is both a safety and practical precaution. Awareness of your surroundings in the wilderness is critical to avoiding hazards as well as seeing wildlife.
Teaching compass skills to kids is a great way to cultivate their abstract reasoning and ability to visualize
Understanding how to use a compass is an invaluable skill for any outdoors enthusiast, but compass skills aren’t just good for adventurous adults. Teaching compass skills to kids is a great way to cultivate their abstract reasoning and ability to visualize when problem solving. One excellent strategy for helping your kids learn compass skills is to create games that require them to use their compass. Here are a few ideas:Games That Teach Kids to Use a Compass
For kids that are just beginning to learn their cardinal directions, this game will help to familiarize them. For this activity, you’ll need a basketball, a court on which to play, and a way to mark spots on the court (e.g. cones, sidewalk chalk). You’ll need to mark 8 spots on the court — one for each of the cardinal and ordinal directions — with North underneath the basket and South at the middle point of the 3-point-line’s arc. Make sure you don’t label which point is which, since the goal of the activity for the kids to determine that. Before you get started, split the group into two teams.
The teams will alternate turns shooting the ball until all team members have gone the agreed upon number of times (you’ll want to scale the number of turns the size of your group, and the amount of time you have available.) Here’s how you play: at the beginning of each turn, you will call one of the 8 cardinal or ordinal directions. The team member whose turn it is must immediately go to the corresponding point, and take a shot. If a team member goes to the incorrect point, they may not shoot. If the team member goes to the correct point, they will be awarded 2 points, and will be allowed to shoot. If the team member makes a basket, they will be awarded 1 additional point. After all team members have taken the agreed upon number of turns, tally the score for each team. The team with the most points wins.
This game can be tailored to kids with various levels of compass familiarity. For this game you’ll need a compass, place marker, and direction sheet for each participating team. Divide your group into teams of about 3 each. Now, when creating your directions sheet, the key is to make sure they will lead your teams back to the point where they started. This is how you’ll know whether they followed the directions correctly. Like we mentioned earlier, you can cater your direction sheet to the level of your kids by using only cardinal directions for beginners, cardinal and ordinal directions for intermediate difficulty, and bearings for more advanced children. A beginner’s direction sheet might look something like this:
- Take 5 steps South.
- Take 10 steps East.
- Take 20 steps North.
- Take 15 steps West.
- Take 15 steps South.
- Take 5 steps East.
…while an advanced direction sheet might look something like this:
- Take a bearing of 180 degrees, then take 20 steps in that direction.
- Take a bearing of 45 degrees, then take 28 steps in that direction.
- Take a bearing of 315 degrees, then take 28 steps in that direction.
- Take a bearing of 225 degrees, then take 28 steps in that direction.
- Take a bearing of 90 degrees, then take 28 steps in that direction.
The Trail Swap Game
This game lets your kids create their own navigation courses, then execute the courses their peers have created. You’ll need 2 place markers small enough not to be seen from a distance (Golf tees are great.), as well as a compass, pen, and paper for each team. Divide the group into teams of 3, then spread the teams out. Have each team put down one of its markers at the start of their course, then create a 5-part set of instructions which they will follow, and place the second marker where the directions lead. Have the teams swap instructions and follow each others’ course. The game is over when all teams have completed all courses. A fun twist on the Trail Swap Game is to play it at night or in a dark gymnasium with flashlights.
These are only a few of the many games that you can put together to help improve your children’s compass skills. Don’t hesitate to make up your own games to focus on specific compass tasks. The sky’s the limit!
Follow through on some of the things they have learned this semester
Do you want to encourage your students to enjoy the outdoors this summer? Follow through on some of the things they have learned this semester? Try some of the skills they learned? How about a quick and easy project?
There are tons of great apps out there, so use the technology to your advantage to get your students excited about the great outdoors!
Here are just a few I found interesting, just put this in your search bar and see what great information is at your fingertips!
- Camp recipes
- Map My Hike-GPS Hicking Tracker
- Fatscak Outdoors Fishing Tracker
- Take Ten to the Greater Outdoors (things you need to do to prepare for an outing)
- Knot Guide
- Outdoor Survival Kit
- Hunt App:Public & Private land
With the beautiful weather we are having, you can enjoy everything from turkey hunting, fishing, camping, hiking
It’s a great time to be spending time outdoors. With the beautiful weather we are having, you can enjoy everything from turkey hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or just sitting around a campfire in the evening with family and friends
Whether you’re climbing rocks, wandering along a coastal path, or hiking a rigorous mountain slope, most campgrounds have scenic trails nearby. It’s best to head out in the morning, but be sure to check distance and difficulty before embarking on any trek.
Shoreline Horseback Riding
Horseback riding can be a peaceful experience, but combine that with the gentle rhythm of ocean waves and you have a match made in heaven. Not all campgrounds will offer this activity, but be sure to take advantage of the ones that do.
What better way to explore the region you’re camping in than on a bike ride? Strap on your pedaling shoes, and head out for a day of cycling. Whether you prefer mountain biking or street biking, most campgrounds support both camping activities. Don’t forget to ask about bike-specific mountain trails or recreational bike paths.
Though you might not notice at first, the plants at your campground may be very different from those where you live. Instead of hiking just to hike, spend your day IDing plants in the local forest. This not only gives you the chance to explore and stay active, but to learn something new, as well.
You wake up to their songs in the morning, but do you know what those beautiful songbirds look like? Be sure to bring a bird identification book, and head out to discover who those singers are.
Some may argue that s’mores are the best part of any camping trip. So, why not put your skills to the test? This camping activity is great for all ages, and it’s a win-win for everyone participating—and tasting.
If your campground is situated on a body of water, there’s no better way to spend your day than splashing around. Most water-friendly campgrounds will offer kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals making it easy to get out and come back in time for dinner over the fire.
A friendly game of volleyball is the one of the best group camping activities. If you don’t have enough people for a game, take this chance to meet your neighbors and invite them to join in the fun. Call the campground to find out if they have a net or if you have to bring your own.
This is a unique experience if you can partake in it. Spelunking is the act of exploring caves, and can be enjoyed by most age groups. If you’re camping near caves, ask your local ranger if they are safe to explore before going in and poking around.
Of all the camping activities you can partake in, fishing might be the most relaxing. Grab your poles and head out with your family to catch dinner for the night, or simply enjoy the recreation of it.