View Full Version : Family Hiking

10-15-2009, 13:30
Anybody here grew up with trail experiences? Right now I live in the city but I grew up exploring the trails near my hometown in Carlisle PA. My family always made it a point to have us learn about nature, that's just how I was raised.

As a result of these experiences I make sure to spend as much time on trails with family, be it in the Appalachian trails near Perry County near where I grew up or just in Central Park.

I heard of a statistic published by the University of Michigan which said that kids spend about 50% less time outdoors than they did when I was growing up 20 years ago.

I work for a marketing company nowadays and we started a recent campaign with the Ad Council which is promoting outdoor experiences. They are partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to increase the average family's time spent in nature.

They've made a pretty good resource for families looking for ways to promote enjoyment in nature with their kids as well. Their "Where the Other You Lives" site is pretty useful. It can be found here (http://youcastcorp.com/discovertheforestlink)for those interested.

For those who grew up enjoying the outdoors how are you bringing these values to the latest generation?

10-15-2009, 13:47
My family never took me hiking, but we have a lot of land and would go exploring a lot. My life as a hiker started out when I had some made urge to do a "four trails" program at my summer camp- several different wilderness programs, the first for me was kayaking in Georgian Bay, Canada for four weeks, second, hiking the AT hundred mile wilderness and beyond. (And a little before the hundred miles too) Now I'm a seasoned hiker preparing for my thru in February!

10-15-2009, 13:47
PS- Welcome to WhiteBlaze, new guy!

10-15-2009, 14:08
PS- Welcome to WhiteBlaze, new guy!

Thanks much! I have lurked for months lol, figured it was about time to make myself known, and this campaign has me pretty intrigued, especially with my upbringing.

10-15-2009, 19:36
For those who grew up enjoying the outdoors how are you bringing these values to the latest generation?

We lead a BSA troop and church "teen adventure group"

10-15-2009, 20:43
"Where the Other You Lives" site is pretty useful. It can be found here (http://youcastcorp.com/discovertheforestlink)for those interested.

Thanks for the link, and for your work!

For those who grew up enjoying the outdoors how are you bringing these values to the latest generation?

We've been trying for years to incorporate kids hikes into the PA Capital Region Hiking Program (http://www.satc-hike.org/hikes.html) but honestly have become discouraged by the lack of interest, which might in turn be a result of my lack of marketing skill. It's especially troubling because kids seem interested only to the extent that other kids are interested, and even signing our daughter up for Girl Scouts hasn't seemed to find others.

The Weasel
10-15-2009, 21:46
Trailsbest ---

Thanks for your PR effort; I took a look, and it's very visually appealing. But "outdoors" isn't a product, and I don't think even the best sites (and yours is one) do the job. Getting families and/or youth into the outdoors is more of a 'viral' thing (a slow one, too). Scouting provides good (and lousy) examples:

In the Troop I ran for a long time, we consciously did several congruent things: First, we made every effort to get some kids who were, at 11-12, athletic, and intentionally 'work-around' their sports scheduled. That gave us a core of kids who liked working up a sweat and doing physical things. We worked to get families that had been involved in Scouting ad/or the outdoors, for a further core of kids who liked the idea of camping and hiking, and who were less likely to be scared/nervous about the outdoors. And then we tried to get the "compulsive achiever" kids (and families) with the sense of challenging them, "Can you do this? Can you do it well?" That got us a lot of kids who might not be outdoors types or athletic, but wanted to prove they were as good as those who were; in a word, they were the "nerds."

Once we were able to pull most of that off, the rest was easy. You take kids and families to quality locations, you give them enough challenge (at different levels) so they feel a sense of accomplishment but not so much that failure is inevitable. Then you let them go home and brag to others about what they did. That's the viral part: Then the others want "in". Not "in" to a boring and miserablly cold/hot/wet/smelly experience with a lot of old guys wearing dorky clothes, but "in to a sense of accomplishable adventure that can legitimately compete (but not displace) computer games and music.

It worked.


10-20-2009, 13:24
My young adult daughters, and wife, meet me on the last nite of my annual solo hike and we camp and then walk to the end of my hike together. It has been a great experience the last several years. I reward them by taking them to a nice resort and letting them get massages etc. I hope we can continue to do this.