Frank Foster has always been a hard worker. He also has a ton of grit. Frank was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America. There is no easy path to achieve this. And in fact, if an easy path could be found...I'm thinking Frank would have taken the harder route. He's that kind of person. Congratulations Frank.
Frank has been on four MindStretch Travel Adventures trips including Europe in 2018, The Colorado Rockies in 2017, Wyoming & Montana in 2016, and the North Carolina Mountains in 2015.
Outdoor Activities to Protect Your Kids
from Nature-Deficit Disorder
Compiled by Jenny Miller for
MindStretch Travel Adventures
Would your children rather play on their tablets or smartphones than head outside for a bike ride with friends? Do your kids seem to be anxious, unfocused, or sluggish much of the time? They could be at risk of developing nature-deficit disorder (NDD), and a lack of outdoor time could be to blame. For some great outdoor activities that will teach your kids to appreciate nature and encourage them to spend more time outside, read on!
Outdoor Activities that Give Back
Enjoy the outdoors while teaching kids about the environment and conservation.
Join or Host a River Cleanup
Plant a Wildlife-Friendly Garden
Make and Hang Bird Feeders
Plant a Family Tree
Go Gleaning to Reduce Food Waste
Backyard Learning for All Ages
If you’d prefer to stay close to home, there’s plenty to do in your own backyard!
Get Outside with Easy Nature Activities in the Backyard
Learn How to Create a Backyard Treasure Hunt
7 Mind-Blowing Backyard Science Experiments for Kids
28 Ultra-Fun DIY Backyard Games for All Ages
Storm Spotting for Children: At-Home Meteorology
Family-Friendly Nature Outings
Whether you’re hiking, biking, or camping, take your kids out for an outdoor adventure!
Learn How to Go Geocaching with Kids
10 Great Places to Hike with Kids
Mountain Biking with Kids 101
10 Tips for Planning a Camping Trip with Kids
5 Stargazing Adventures for Families with Kids
Sign Up Your Child for a Unique Outdoor Travel Experience with MindStretch Travel Adventures
Whether your family partakes in an outdoor activity that gives back to the community, you head out on a camping trip with your little ones, or you turn your backyard into a science lab or art studio that encourages learning, you’ll be teaching your children to respect and appreciate nature. You’ll also protect your kids from nature-deficit disorder and ensure that they’re receiving the fresh air and natural sunlight they need to feel their best.
We would have been here...
At this exact moment we would have been out in Yellowstone National Park country enjoying the scenery, wildlife, and amazing features of the area. But COVID-19 postponed those plans for a year. So...just think...one year from today we'll be out there taking advantage of all we missed this summer. It will be worth the wait. The 2021 adventure will be our eighth trip to Wyoming & Montana.
For info on the 2021 adventure, click here.
Remembering the Flying W Ranch
Tonight is the grand reopening of the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs, CO. All of our past groups to CO enjoyed our visits to the Flying W...which offered "authentic" cowboy barbecue followed by cowboy entertainment. It was a fun evening. Our last trip to the ranch was in 2011. A year later the Flying W Ranch and all of their facilities and hundreds of other homes and businesses were destroyed during the Waldo Canyon Fire which consumed over 18,000 acres.
I was hoping we could visit in 2017 (our last trip to Colorado), but the ranch was still not rebuilt. So, it was a pleasure to see that tonight is opening night!
Should we ever get back, we'll be there. (This photo was taken at the Flying W in 2011).
These are trying times and we're still hoping that our trip to Wyoming & Montana this coming summer will go as planned. In the meantime, click the link below to get a glimpse of what we have in store. It's going to be a wonderful experience. Stay home, stay safe, wash your hands!
Click to watch the short video on YouTube.
That's a wrap for 2019.
So just what can a boy do in twelve days.
Check out these activities from our just-ended 12-day trip to New England.
You can follow us on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/mindstretchtraveladventures/
And if you don’t do Facebook you can follow us on our photo site at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mindstretch/albums
So it’s a bit late to sign up for this summer, but we want you to know sign-ups are open now for our 2020 season. We’ll be having just one trip – but’s a doozy and we’re to the place where we’ve been more than any other: Wyoming & Montana. Info can be found, along with the application, at:
The Great Teton National Park and the Snake River
It was a year ago today that we were in London near the beginning of our 20-day adventure that would take us by train to some of Europe’s most iconic sites. About the time of this post we were finishing up our walking tour with our guide and finding our way to the West End to see a production of “School of Rock, The Musical.” Kids loved it and the show made for a nice end to the London portion of our trip. By mid-morning the next day we were traveling by Eurostar to Paris.
Our new season of adventures gets underway ten days from today with a five-day trip to the North Carolina High Country. We will pack in an amazing number and variety of activities in this short experience. In July we’ll be in New England for 12 days. And for sure, just like last year’s Europe and Virginia Highlands trips, no day is ever the same.
We hope you’ll follow our travels here on Facebook as we get underway.
And if you’re curious about 2020, we’re heading out to Wyoming & Montana for ten days in July. Sign-ups have started and you can read more here: http://www.mindstretchadventures.com/2020-wyoming--montana.html
There were two predecessors to MindStretch Travel Adventures. The first was called Open Road Experiences and compared to today’s adventures; we were roughing it. We were gone weeks at a time and spent almost every single night in tents and prepared virtually all our own meals. Today’s MTA programs still enjoy all the great activities during the day, but we’ve learned how nice it is to come back to “base camp” in a real bed in a hotel and eat dinner out in a restaurant.
So the other day I received an email from a camper from the very second year of the Open Road program (1979) saying he had discovered the MTA website and it looked like we had gotten spoiled. He could be right but I’m older and wiser and it’s nice to have the best of both worlds.
But I should mention when my wife and I started our residential program (between ORE & MTA) there was nothing at all easy about that first year. All of the rain we’ve had the past couple of years (at least here in Western North Carolina) reminded me of that very first summer at TrailRidge Mountain Camp in 1982. The boys arrived to find out there were no cabins, there were no flush toilets, there were no real hot showers, and there was no dining hall. We hardly had electricity. The idea was that the boys were coming up that first summer to help us “build” the camp. And they did arrive…by the dozens.
We slept in tents and tarps and endured rain. And we endured more rain. And more rain. In fact, that summer was a record setter back then. I imagine that record has been recently broken. We cooked under a dining fly and used solar showers (if we showered at all) and had one of five porta-potties to choose from.
Then, as expected, the health department discovered we were running this camp and we had as of that moment not been permitted. That’s another story.
Well, we had an ultimatum to get those tents off the ground, get the bathhouse open, get the dining hall opened and inspected, and quit drinking water out of the spring. We had a weekend to get it done, but luckily the Fourth of July was around the weekend so we got an extra day or two. We did get it done. The rain didn’t stop. Most of the kids had fun. Some of them came back. And we continued running the camp for the next 14 years or so.
And then I was back to traveling and the camp morphed into MTA. And I’ll tell, it’s the way to go! And no matter which way we travel or camp…we make new memories (almost like these) every single day.
This first photo was from our 1979 Open Road trip. It was seven weeks long - SEVEN WEEKS! We traveled from New Orleans to New England and into Canada. We called ourselves, "The Dirty Dozen."
The second photo is from the very first couple of week or so at TrailRidge. This was an example of someone's shelter. Nothing else about that summer.
On the Cover...
On the Cover! Nothing like old news, but the Christ Church Episcopal School magazine from last spring was buried beneath a ton of other old magazines around my house. These two are both "retired" MindStretch Travel Adventures campers. The magazine is from last year so both guys are now ninth graders.
Tripp (left) is a veteran of four MTA trips including Europe, Colorado Rockies, Wyoming - Montana, and North Carolina Mountains. And Benn has two under his belt -- West Virginia - Tennessee and the North Carolina Mountains.
We're excited that Tripp's little brother, Nate, will be joining us for his first adventure this coming summer on the North Carolina High Country trip.
I never imagined that when I started taking kids on travel trips in 1978 that I would still be taking trips today! It has been a great ride and I'm looking forward to more.