Saturday, February 25, 2012

In the Zone in 'Zona

From Flagstaff to Phoenix, we spent the better part of this week working with youth from school groups to the Girl Scouts! In a state with such a wealth in public lands, it was awesome to see young people so excited about the outdoors and knowledgeable about how to protect them using Leave No Trace!

Quinn and Bigfoot drop some Leave No Trace knowledge!
Our first stop was with the Alpine Leadership Academy in Flagstaff. This innovate magnet middle school focuses on outdoor learning. All of their students know about Leave No Trace from working with the local Forest Service and even Northern Arizona University Outdoors. Every student there goes on at least one four-night trip with the school. They excelled at one of our favorite PEAK games, Step On It! The students battled over which surfaces were more durable for travel in three aggressive match-ups. After we left they even were planning on taking Leave No Trace and using it in a writing assignment the next day. Nice work team!

In Phoenix, we stopped by Orangewood School to talk to some high-achieving eighth graders. In their class they have talked extensively about trash decomposition and were old-pros when it came to figuring out how long items lasted in the outdoors. After school, some of these students are involved in a legendary environmental club. One of their activities is collecting trash on the school's outdoor basketball court every two weeks, categorizing it, weighing it, and graphing the results. Sounds like the kind of research that would be useful for the Leave No Trace Center in Boulder. What an epic crew of young researchers!

Girl Scouts learn how to keep a safe distance while viewing wildlife with the Rule of Thumb!
Finally, on Saturday we kicked it with the Girl Scouts from the Cactus-Pine Council for Thinking Day! This year, on the 100th Anniversary of the GSA, the theme for Thinking Day was Friendship Around the World. These girls and their adult leaders were psyched to learn about Leave No Trace for their many campouts. As an added bonus, there was a Bigfoot sighting at the event! Before he snuck off to find some shade in the Arizona sun, he posed for pictures with Troops, dished out highfives, and showed off some epic dance moves. Way to go, Girls!

Stompin' on Durable Surfaces Like a Boss,

Quinn & Frank

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