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An “Outdoor Odyssey”

April 29, 2010

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Outdoor Odyssey was started by Dartmouth Medical Students in 2008 as an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Project. The program was designed to provide middle school students with opportunities for outdoor recreation. We hoped that, in addition to inspiring active living, the wilderness would provide an ideal place to build confidence, leadership and close friendships. For the past two years, we have worked in conjunction with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance to take a group of Hartford Memorial Middle School students on bimonthly wilderness adventures. We’ve hiked many of the Upper Valley’s beautiful trails, snow shoed, ice-skated and practiced wilderness first-aid and rescue. The program has been a wonderful success, reminding us with each event what a wonderful classroom the wilderness is and how lucky we are to live in the Upper Valley. The program is easy to run and fun for everyone. Look for us here for more info on how to get a program like Outdoor Odyssey going at your school and take the classroom outside…

Last Week’s Outing (April 2010) – Velvet Rocks Trail We met the group at 1pm, drove out to Velvet Rocks and hiked out until the trail intersected with the AT. We followed the AT towards Canada and found a perfect boulder with a great view that made an ideal spot for munching on granola bars and apples. We then played a few rounds of Camouflage and headed back to the car.  

The Rules for Camouflage: This game is a variation on Hide and Seek that is played in the woods. One group member is chosen to be the “predator” and the rest of the group will be the “prey”. The “predator” stands in one spot, closes his or her eyes and counts to 30 while all the prey run in any direction and find a spot to camouflage. The camouflaged can cover themselves in leaves and hide behind rocks and trees but they MUST be able to see the predator. After counting, the predator opens his or her eyes and tries to spot as many prey as possible WITHOUT moving. The predator may turn in circles but cannot walk around. When a “prey” is spotted the predator can identify him by name, an article of clothing or by pointing. The prey should know when they are spotted, as they should be looking at the predator. When the predator has found all the prey he or she can see they close their eyes and count again, this time to 10 or 20. All the remaining prey must move closer to the predator and camouflage again. The game continues in this manner until only one prey is left; that person is the winner.

Submitted by: Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Project, Outdoor Odyssey program fellows, Anna O. Eley and Bill Fletcher


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