For info on the 2021 adventure, click 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.
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).
So just what can a boy do in twelve days.
Check out these activities from our just-ended 12-day trip to New England.
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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
This photo is from our 2016 Wyoming-Montana trip. We discovered a real phone booth at Colter Bay in the Grand Teton National Park. The boys in the foreground are attempting to hide the boys in the background who were attempting to see how many guys they could stuff into the booth. Now I’m not going to tell you whose idea this was, but definitely not mine! In any case, no park ranger came upon the scene at this moment and we quickly hightailed it out of there. In the meantime, we had a blast.
You never know what kind of fun we’ll have on one of our trips, but you won’t know if you’re not with us.
Click to find out about our 2019 adventures.
While most boys at summer camp pretty much stay at camp all day or rarely leave the county, the boys on a MTA experience are constantly experiencing new things in new places. One example this coming summer is our ride up to the top of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire by cog railway. The Mount Washington Cog Railway, a National Historic Engineering Landmark, is one of those memorable experiences most boys never have. A cog railway, in case you haven't a clue, is the only way of getting a “train” up very steep inclines. This train, a marvel of 19thCentury engineering, is powered up and down the steep tracks with either diesel or coal-fired steam but the fun is understanding how the cogs work to keep it from slipping back down. That you’ll have to experience this summer. From the summit of Mt. Washington we’ll have 360-degree views of five states, Canada, and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Mt. Washington Cog Railway is just one of dozens of new experiences our boys will have on our two trips this summer. Check the link for info about our 2019 trips.
We’ve always boasted that no day is ever the same on a MTA experience and that is so true! But even when we have a day planned…the unexpected comes up to just make the day even more extraordinary. Case in point: North Carolina Mountains adventure in 2017. We were spending a few hours one day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and just so happened to arrive at the ranger station at the right time. They were having an all-day round-robin kind of activity program that day and if we participated in enough of the activities we could all (yes, ALL) become Junior National Park Rangers.
And so this photo is of the swearing-in ceremony after our day. All the boys (and adults) 13 years or older earned the title of Not-So-Junior Ranger and I have the patch and certificate to prove it. Being a national park ranger was one of my dream jobs back when I was just starting these travel programs and thanks to being with MTA at the right time…I can check that off!
No telling what extraordinary things will pop up this summer, but we hope you’ll check the website and get started wondering.
Click to check out our 2019 summer programs and remember...there's always the unexpected...
What an adventure we had in the Colorado Rockies. For the second year boys didn’t have their electronics with them and for five days they didn’t even have TVs. It was refreshing. One night we had three bats in the commons room of our lodge at Snow Mountain Ranch. The entertainment of watching and helping the maintenance staff trap the bats caused one boy to say, “This is better than TV.”
We did tons of activities during our two weeks. A few of the highlights included taking in a professional baseball game, touring places such as the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center, the US Olympic Training Center, the Air Force Academy, a goldmine (1,000 feet below the surface of the earth), hiking the Manitou Incline (just about the steepest hike one could imagine and 15 of our boys chose to conquer it), taking the cog railroad to the top of Pike’s Peak. Boys tackled a high ropes adventure course, a climbing tower, and a zip-line. Many boys went on a horseback trail ride, some went fishing, some went canoeing, some tried out archery…and the list continues.
It was a wonderful trip that will give these boys a lifetime of memories.
If you missed the activities, you can check out our daily blog and photo albums at:
During my first year of my travel camp program in 1978 I experienced the enjoyment of participating in a National Park ranger-led program for the first time. And it was way back then that I imagined how cool that would be to serve as a National Park Ranger. Well, years passed, decades passed…and it was never going to happen. But then I thought with retirement all but here, perhaps I could be a volunteer “ranger” at a nearby park like the Carl Sandburg Home or Cowpens National Battlefield site.
And now my dream has been fulfilled. Just this past week, when out adventuring with 22 kids in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I had the honor of having the title of “Not-So-Junior Ranger” bestowed upon me by Ranger Savannah and Ranger Mark (no, not this Mark). And I have the certificate and the patch to prove it!
It all happened while the MindStretch Travel Adventures boys were earning their “Junior Park Ranger” certificate and badge that I found out “not-so-junior” people (anyone 13 or over) could also get involved and become “rangers.” And so, there you have it. A life-long dream fulfilled.
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.