I started leading the Teen Treks group at Audubon when my daughters were the right age for this group. Even though they have moved on, it still falls to me to lead the trips. I’m not complaining. It’s one of the most fun, if most exhausting, weeks of the year. Here’s how it works: basically, we throw a bunch of teens in a van and take them on the road to natural areas other than the Center where they have been coming for years as day campers.
Some of the kids will have been to some of our destinations. It is most gratifying, however, when I get to show them places they have never seen and to hear them say things like, “This is so beautiful…” or “I never thought I would be at such an awesome place.”
I only have the kids from 9am until 3pm each day, so I try to choose destinations that are no more than an hour away from the Center, preferably closer. And, of course, I look for places with no admission fee… just to point up the facts that (1) life is good, (2) simple pleasures are the best, and (3) the best things in life are free. It is my hope that if I introduce these kids to this kind of recreation, it will follow them into their adult lives… that they will continue to enjoy this incredible planet, will want to help protect it, and will share it with others.
Last night, one of my daughter’s friends (and former Teen Trekker) stopped by with her boyfriend and an invitation to her boyfriend’s graduation party. I mentioned that the Teen Treks group had been to Rimrock and she said, “We were just at Rimrock this week!” We chatted on about other trips, waterfalls, geocaching, and so on… As we chatted, they planned their next outdoor adventure – a hunt for the “Real” Arkwright Falls.
Thursday’s trip was to Jake’s Rocks and Rimrock – both in the Allegheny National Forest. You can see more photos from this trip here:
Wednesday’s trip plans got foiled by rain. But we had fun, anyway. I blogged it over at the “JAS Dragons” site, since we did net a few dragons before the rain started. More pictures from the bog and the rest of the day can be found here:
The Bog and Beyond