Re-Connecting with Nature Workshop Oct. 17, Halifax

WorkshopGraphic-ReconnectingThe Re-Connecting with Nature workshop is a hands-on day of outdoor adventure to improve your ability to lead and share an appreciation and understanding of nature with children and youth. The workshop is suitable for youth group leaders, recreation and camp staff, teachers, early childhood educators, parents and concerned citizens. The aim is to increase leadership capacity in Nova Scotia in order to re-connect children and youth with nature. Continue reading “Re-Connecting with Nature Workshop Oct. 17, Halifax”

Re-Connecting with Nature Workshops June 12-24

WorkshopGraphic-ReconnectingThe Re-Connecting with Nature workshop is a hands-on day of outdoor adventure to improve your ability to lead and share an appreciation and understanding of nature with children and youth. The workshop is suitable for youth group leaders, recreation and camp staff, teachers, early childhood educators, parents and concerned citizens. The aim is to increase leadership capacity in Nova Scotia in order to re-connect children and youth with nature. Participants will improve their leadership skills, gain practical activity ideas, network with like-minded folks and have fun in nature. The workshop is offered through Hike Nova Scotia in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness with support from Acadia University.

Workshops will take place: June 12 in Truro; June 13 in Halifax; June 16 in Wolfville; June 19 in Barrachois; June 20 in Antigonish; and June 24 in Lunenburg. The workshop cost is $50 ($40 for members of Hike Nova Scotia). A $25 subsidy is available for parents not associated with an organization and for volunteer leaders. Registration includes a workshop manual and a one-year membership with Hike Nova Scotia. Learn more and register here.

Young Hiker Challenge

Calling all young hikers (and wannabe hikers)! Hike Nova Scotia challenges children and youth to get out on the trails. Keep track of the distances you hike and you could earn the Hiker Distance Award Badge! Tally these kilometres IMG_0877[1]-smallerwithin one year: ages 5 to 8: 15 km; ages 9 to 14: 30 km; ages 15 to adult: 45 km. No pre-registration is necessary for the Young Hiker Challenge, simply start hiking and keep track of how far you go! Use our special Youth Logbook to record your hikes. Youth that earn a patch by March 1, 2014 qualify for a prize draw for a $100 gift card. Hike NS thanks the IWK Community Grants and MEC for their support. Learn more here.

Hike NS Fall Guided Hike Series: Youth and Family Theme

Hike Nova ScotiaP4204819 and eight host organizations across the province have partnered up to offer the 2013 Fall Guided Hike series in September and October. There are 17 hikes led by local folks and participants qualify to win “trail prizes.” This year, many of the hikes have a Youth & Family Theme, with some featuring special activities for children and youth. Hike NS thanks its partners for organizing the hikes on the ground and to Backroad Mapbooks for its donations. Check out the list of events here.

2nd Tantallon Sparks Earn Hiking Patches

Hiking is where it’s at for the 2nd Tantallon Sparks Girl Guide unit. Over the last year, six of the Sparks took the Youth Hiker Distance Award Challenge in order to earn patches, or badges. For Girl Guides, there is a special challenge. Not only do they have to tally at least 15 km of hiking, but they also have to complete at least two of a list of other activities related to hiking. The 2nd Tantallon Sparks unit hiked more than 15 km on several occassions and they:

  • Researched and created a checklist of things you should bring on a hike to be safe and comfortable
  • Took part in a “Hug-A-Tree and Survive”
  • Learned about Leave No Trace Principles

Here are some photos of their hiking adventures:

P1020547

P4204819

 

 

 

 

 

 

P4204817

PC024347

 

 

 

 

 

 

P4204820

PC024337

PC024342

Pay off worth it for hiking families

By David Redwood, for Hike Nova Scotia

Barely thirty seconds into a hike that would last an hour, Robbie Hudson stops, crouches into a ball and peers carefully over his knees at the ground.

“Slugs!” shouts the four-year-old.

His family pays no mind. They are already bounding down the trail that leads into the coastal barrens around Prospect, near Halifax. Two minutes later Robbie catches up to his two sisters who have climbed some granite rocks to try and push a towering boulder off of its perch.

“Push! Push!” they squeal.

Despite the after-dinner hour there is no lack of energy. Hiking for the Hudson family is a common part of their evening routine.

“Every time they come, and they’ve been here maybe 100 times, they come and find new things, or find a new hole, or a new way of climbing up something,” said the children’s father, Mike Hudson. This evening Mike and his wife Cordele were out with Robbie and daughters Mary-Anne, 2, and Charlotte, 6.

Seeing families together on hiking trails is not uncommon. But ensuring the kids want to do it again and again means parents must find ways to keep the excitement high and tears, tantrums and exhaustion to a minimum.

For children, the thrill of discovery is key, said Steven Rolls, a Cape Bretoner who has a section on hiking with kids on his blog Moosebait.com.

“Everyone says, ‘Oh, my kid gets tired, I have to carry them.’ They don’t get tired, they get bored. And when they get bored, that’s the first thing they’ll say: ‘I’m tired, my legs are sore.’ But if there’s any little spark of interest or excitement, they are on the go again.”

Rolls remembers his son not wanting to come on a three-kilometre hike the family had planned.

“He had just gotten a Wii — he kind of wanted to stay home. The first thing we told him was that the trail we were going on was the route the English soldiers took when they attacked the fortress of Louisbourg. And he was in the car in five minutes.”

The history fuelled the hike.

“The whole trail he was pretending he was dragging a cannon,” Rolls said.

He said parents don’t need to be historians or naturalists to make a hike successful. Look up three plants or flowers on the Internet before you head out, he suggests.

“You will be a hero, because you will know the name. You will spot something and ‘Oh, that’s Indian Pipe. And they’ll go, ‘Wow!’”

He also said short loops or a network of interconnected trails are often better suited for families than lengthy point-to-point routes. Parents should also lower expectations on how much distance will be covered.

No walk is perfect. Crying, scrapes and arguments can occur. But the payoff is worth it, said Cordele, when asked what parents get out of hiking with young ones.

“Making the memories and spending the time,” she said. “And knowing that the kids are being healthy and they are building muscles and coordination that will just help them their whole life.”

For more information on hiking, walking and snowshoeing contact Hike Nova Scotia through  www.hikenovascotia.ca.

Photo:The Hudson family walks High Head Trail near Prospect, N.S. In the foreground, from left: Robbie, Mike (holding their pet dog, Colonel) and Charlotte. Behind them, Cordele is helping two-year-old Mary-Anne search for crabs in the water. Photo credit: David Redwood