Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31days of Exploring God's Creation- Day 4- Tips and Tricks of the Trade- Nature Boot Camp

Welcome! I'm truly glad you're here-
I'm participating in a #31days of . . . series 
started by Nessy of  "Nesting Place"

There are actually hundreds of 
bloggers participating in this 
challenge to dig a little deeper by 
posting on the same topic for 31 days straight

Throughout the month of October 
I'll be bringing you posts about
"Exploring God's Creation"
Getting the Family Out in the Great Outdoors
and this is -                      - with the Sub-topic:
Day 4  . . .
Tips and Tricks 
"Nature Boot Camp"

Camping and Whitewater Rafting- ClassII- Kentucky 

Some Tips 4 Families in the Great Outdoors: 

If you have very young children or are new to the idea- you may not
want to start off with a three day rafting trip down a river. 
Hiking is a good place to start on your adventures. You probably
shouldn't begin with a 6 hours trek in the mountains either. Do some
 nice trail walks through the woods at local parks. If you're looking 
for more- you can always rent a cabin at a state park or something 
similar to use as "home" base while you "get your feet wet" in the 
outdoors. I realize that not everyone will want to rough it quite like 
we do. Here are some basic tips I've picked up along the way that
 I find to be helpful with preparing the kiddos for time in the wild. 

*Hiking is a terrific family activity for connecting with nature.

To begin with- we "started" them quite young. Before they could even
 walk they were "hiking"- in back packs and carriers.

Tubing Rock Springs River in Apopka- FL

Visit as many parks as possible to find opportunities for your family
One of the goals in connecting with nature in the wild -is to actually See 
some wildlife.That can be a bit tricky when you're leading your own
 pack of wild animals ' lil angels. Children (and some adults) have a 
tendency to be a might too loud while trekking through the woods. 
They scare off all the beautiful critters before they even know they're
 there. Getting your "team" out early on in life and often will increase 
the likelihood of your family being able to capture moments . . . 
                                  . . . like this:

Kelly Park - FL

If my boys had come floating down the river as crazy and  loud as
 the group who came down behind them- we never would have even
 seen her, much less spent several blissful minutes of close observation
 and connection with her :

Apopka, FL

This little guy did eventually get a look at her- I think the picture is 
hilarious because he's looking the wrong way and I was desperately
 trying to point him the right direction (without scaring her away) -
funny, I think he and our new friend are both looking at the same thing! 

*Training- word for the day- let them know they're on a mission

You have to train them to quietly enter into the wild- How in the world?
Well, try applying the same principles that get you interested in a thing. 
If there is a lot of "hype" about something- it's bound to catch your 
attention - at least for a bit. So, talk it up! BEFORE you get to the 
woods- Tell the kids about how REAL explorers do it. If you're out
hiking- give them some binoculars or a  camera. Explain what they 
may see if they can be quiet enough.If you are excited, they will be. 

*Create some hype- and give them information!!!

Family Walk- Our Neighborhood

*Have realistic expectations- you know your children best.

I'm here to tell you that if my boys can be trained to walk quietly on
 a trail- anybody can. How? Remember the talk we had yesterday
about sticks? NO, I'm just kidding- but it can help to give them a 
walking stick of their own. Just have them be on the look out for 
one that is about the right size for them. I think it makes them feel 
more like real explorers if they have a walking stick and a camera!

Florida's Space Coast- the last Space Shuttle!

*Help them get into the spirit of adventure-take is seriously

We certainly don't adhere to a *silence policy - there's no fun in 
that! But, by setting aside a portion of time (start small and build 
up to longer stretches) when they know that the whole family is 
working together toward the same goal  - working as a team and
they are an important part of it (not just the noisy children in the way)
they are going to be more inclined to help make it happen. We tell
them to use soft voices and even teach them a couple of hand signals-
you'd be surprised at how much that actually adds to the adventure!

*Let them know they are an important part of the team

Blue Springs, Florida

Have a wonderful time together as a family! Encourage co-operation,
reward good behavior. Be impressed with the rock they pick up. 
Really "be there" in the moment with them and they will bend over
backwards to do a good job for you and they'll become interested
in what you are interested in. 

*If they feel a sense of togetherness they will want more

You've spent some time educating them, and practicing your crazy
mad exploring skills as a family. You've looked at bugs, and flowers, 
and noticed an animal print. Maybe you've even gotten pictures of that
Bald Eagle or a mama deer drinking from the river.
 Then it's time to let the kids cut loose for a bit! 

*Let them go a little wild in the wild!!!

Tree climbing- Oscar Scherer State Park- Venice, Florida 

Camping and "Dirt Surfing" at Babcock Ranch - FL 

Camping Along the Suwannee River - Jumping from a Tree!

*You don't have to go far to start training your little family for big adventure in the great outdoors

Start today or this week by talking about the animals who live nearby.
Begin building up some of the "hype" about the adventures you'd like
to experience with your family. Visit a local park or nearby woods and
take a walk/hike on a trail to gauge how well they might do, but don't 
get discouraged if it takes a little time to adjust to the idea. I think 
you'll be surprised and pleased as punch at how well they'll take to 
the idea of family adventures! 


*It's God who's in the details y'all- get familiar with His handiwork and your whole family will come to know Him better - see Him more clearly

Romans 1:20
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."

You may want to read the first three days of the series :

My series- Exploring God's Creation -  here
Day 1- The Value in Family Walks- here 
Day 2- Natures Stimulus Package - here
Day 3- No Fear- Be Prepared- here

Y'all come back now- 'ya hear?

Feel free to grab my button from the side bar for #31days Series 
or the AdventurezInChildRearing button! many thanks- 

Other #31dayers I think you'll enjoy:

 Mandy- Biblical Homemaking               Heathalee- Butterfly Genes:              
Melanie- Only A Breath             Amy- Missional Mamas Soul 


1TootieFoodie said...

I love and always enjoy your pics! Thanks for the great tips because I love being outside and so does my daughter. I can't wait until she gets a little older to actually enjoy more adventurous things!

KAT said...

Hi Kelli,
Lovely post and blog ...I will be sharing your spot on word with my son and his family (three yr old daughter, Jillian) they are the greatest family and my grand-daughter is just the best I know she would love hiking like your family does. Thanks for your inspiration I will read more now.

I found your blog by visiting Colleen at Mural Maker blog. she is great blogger too


Susan said...

Your photos are awesome!