Earth adventures are designed for kids, roughly ages five to twelve, and those with them. Adults with them have a lot of fun too! Kids younger than five have a blast but often do not get very far. Once kids start their teens, these sorts of activities aren’t always “cool.” The best way to engage teens in an earth adventure is to have them lead younger kids— then they can get fully engaged.
Each trail is its own magical adventure but an earth adventure by definition has a number of common elements:
- a series of hands-on activities using multiple senses that focuses on nature appreciation
- an engaging storyline that connects the activities to create a flowing experience
- time for personal reflection in nature
- informative links between the natural setting, ecological concepts, local cultures and environmental issues
- opportunities to work together to prepare for the adventure
- practical suggestions to reduce the environmental impact of personal lifestyles
- a final discovery
The digital trails are phone friendly but some prefer to leave phones home in which case you can download and print a pdf file of the trail information to carry with you. Just go to the trail and click print on your computer, or save it as a pdf and then print it later.
Phone access may be limited on some parts of some trails but with the phone app, if you visit the trail before you start out, the app caches those pages on your phone and you can access them later on the trail even if you do not have signal. You need to use the phone app rather than the website for this to occur.
Make Your Adventure Journal
The Adventure Journal provides a special way to remember and build on your adventures. Before you start out, spend a bit of time as a family or group making or decorating your own journals. Here are some simple ideas on how to do this. Each trail write-up provides at least one opportunity to draw a picture, write a poem or note a discovery in your journal. You can also use it to collect the rubbings as individuals when you find the hidden plaques. Back home, the kids can add trail photos and new artistic creations.
“It refers to learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledges and ways of knowing … and learning to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.”~ Elder Albert Marshall
We have worked with Mi’kmaw partners to include at least some traditional knowledge in each of these trails.
Netukulimk is a regular information box on each trail. This is the Mi’kmaw concept for “the use of the natural bounty provided by the Creator for the self-support and well-being of the individual and the community at large.” By community, we mean the interconnectedness of all things: land, animals, water, human beings, plants, customs, laws. For Mi’kmaq, this understanding comes out of wejisqalia’timk, which means literally “we sprouted from the earth” and this speaks to the generations and generations of Mi’kmaq who have lived in Mi’kma’ki. These boxes help illustrate those connections to this place. One small step towards Reconciliation is for Settler peoples to reach out and appreciate the essential lessons and expertise of Indigenous cultures.
We challenge you to take on this mission. Here are some excellent resources to start you off.
Upload Your Photos
At the end of every trail, there is a photo gallery and an opportunity for you to upload pictures you took along the way. These pictures go into the trail gallery and are accessible to the world, so make sure you are ok with that before you post them. We might also add them in a trail write up, but we will not use them in any way beyond this web site.
Give Us Feedback
Please take the time at the end of each trail to give us feedback, suggest new ideas, or tell us if something on the trail has gone amiss. We can then make changes to help those who come after you.