Click this link to find out how you can make your own headlines in 2019.
You never know what kind of unique opportunities might happen on a MindStretch Travel Adventures trip. Here are four examples where we’ve made local headlines during some of our past journeys. Click each photo and check out the caption for each photo to get the back story.
Click this link to find out how you can make your own headlines in 2019.
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.
On MTA trips we always say every day is different. But not only does that apply to scenery and daily adventures…it also applies to eating! We usually go to a different sit-down restaurant for dinner each night and the boys get to choose what they want from the menu. You’re not going to find that at a residential camp!
These are some photos from our 2014 New England trip and we’re heading back there this coming July for a 12-day trip. We’re also having a five-day trip to the North Carolina High Country in June.
Think about what you might want to eat for dinner and where and check out our 2019 trips at this link.
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...
Excuse me, but I don’t get the resemblance!
Ever since the movie, Up, hit the big screen…kids have said I look like that old man in the movie. I don’t get it! There’s no resemblance at all! But the boys in the Colorado Rockies got a big chuckle in July 2017 when we were at Snow Mountain Ranch. A family was walking up the steps to our lodge and some little boy (probably about 4) pointed at me and said something to the effect of, “Look mom, he’s the man in the movie!” Well, our MTA boys just about fell over with laughter—embarrassing that boy’s mom. I’m sure both the little guy and our slightly bigger guys understood exactly.
Just the same, Mr. Fredricksen (Ed Asner) was an admirable character that loved adventure. And he was a kind (slightly elderly) gentleman. I’m honored to have that comparison.
There are plenty of adventures ahead for your own “Russell.” Check out what we have lined up for 2019 by clicking here.
(Just so you know, I added twenty pounds and twenty years to the right-side photo on Photoshop.)
Usually my posts have been from our most recent trips, but it is fun looking back at the MTA archives and glancing at photos from some of our past trips. This first photo was from our Alaska-Canada trip in 2010. Some of the boys actually needed to use this porta-potty we found on some road outside of Juneau and the beginning of a new “group photo” tradition was started. We continued this from time to time and most of the boys thought it was a good gag. The second photo is a bit more recent – Virginia Mountains in 2014.
So that you know, most of our boys are more resourceful than waiting in line for a smelly old porta-potty. You can probably imagine some other options.
Who knows if we’ll post such a picture in 2019, but it might be time? Check out what we have lined up for this coming summer by clicking this link.
There’s a secret reason we have “MindStretch” in our name. Of course we hope the boys will be drawn to the “travel” and “adventure” part of our moniker. However we throw in a little brainwork just because we can. Of course, traveling itself is enlightening and educational but MTA can toss in some real-world educational experiences that are even fun. These two photos represent one of those examples. So that the boys don’t have to raid the hotel vending machines for snack food, we’ll often take them to a supermarket near the beginning of each trip and instruct them that they can only spend “X” amount per person per room. You’d be amazed at how quickly their math skills are put to work when the kids try to figure out how much loot they can get for a set amount of money! They check the prices, they compare name brand to store brand, big size vs. small size, price per ounce, and work together to accomplish their mission. They’re proud of their math (and buying) achievements!
Click to read about our 2019 adventures and just picture your son making these great choices!
This photo is of the MTA staff we had for this past summer’s Virginia trip. I’m no math teacher, but some of these guys are and they would probably tell me that I was using the correct formula for figuring out the average age of a MTA staff member. Including me in my math (I was behind the camera) shows an average age of 54 years old. Actually, we have leader Andy Clack (second from right) for helping get that age down.
And we’re proud of this. Very proud. Because all of those years equal a lot of life experiences and a lot of knowing when to say “no” when a boy asks, “What could go wrong?” Or, instead of “no” we might suggest that we think this through first.
Yet, the boys still have fun – but safety always comes first.
Andy, by the way, was trying to convince us that these things were first generation smart phones. (If you haven’t guessed, they’re speakers at a drive-in movie we went to our first night in Virginia.)
Click to check out just some of the fun we have planned for 2019.
Just one of the great perks about a MTA experience is that boys get to choose what they want to eat. It gives them freedom to explore something new or stick with the familiar.
The above photo shows two brave campers in Paris this past summer having steak tartare (I think I have that name right). You can see on their faces just how much they enjoyed their choice!
In the bottom photo, taken in Cripple Creek, Colorado just over a year ago shows these two same guys along with some of their buddies about to sample their first “Rocky Mountain Oysters.” You’ll need to Google that if you’re not quite sure what it is because I’m not about to tell you.
And as I often say, “That’s part of the adventure of a MTA trip.”
Click to learn more about our 2019 travels and start planning your own menu.
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.