477 (9/30/09)

     Special thanks to the West Central Chapter of the Minnesota Darkhouse and Angling Association for the financial support of our annual Fall Fishing Day earlier this month.  This is a great area organization working hard to preserve and advance Minnesota sport fishing.  Please support them when you can. 

     Find out more, including meeting times and location, at www.mndarkhouse.org/westcentral/.

     Thanks also to Ms. Lorie Floura, Paynesville High School Principal, for joining us at Trail Guards last Saturday morning.  Lorie gave an interesting overview of her work and past history, allowing the kids a view of her they don‘t see at school.  You mean, you do more than get kids in trouble?  It was really great having her.

     Twenty-five kids enjoyed the extended summer-like weather.  Despite equipment breakdowns (our lawn tractors are getting some age on them), we worked hard on trail maintenance and other park work, and enjoyed a wonderful morning outdoors, away from TV’s, iPods, PlayStations, Nintendos, sleeping-in, watching movies, and all the other less-emotionally-and-physically-healthy options kids face these days.

     For a great read on that subject, please find a copy of Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods.”  Subtitled “Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder,” it’s a fascinating work about the enormous divide between today’s wired kids and the natural world, and cites various studies and research on disturbing childhood trends associated with losing that connection to the outdoors, including obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

     “Last Child in the Woods” is available through our local Great River Regional Library, and is tremendously supportive of the Trail Guard mission and model.

     Just five weeks of Trail Guards left for the season, and we look forward to more fun programs, a late-season over-night bike trip, and an Awards Day to recognize our top star performers.