Adults Like Parks in Focus, Too!

Prior to this weekend, I considered myself to be an outdoor-type of person,
but this weekend has truly opened my eyes to vast array of activities available in this area.
~ 2012 Big Training Participant 

Last weekend, Parks in Focus hosted a two-day training program for adult volunteers (Bigs) with Michigan-based Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations. The project, made possible by an Outdoor Nation grant, aimed to provide participants with new knowledge, skills, resources and inspiration to implement fun outdoor activities – such as digital photography – with their Littles.

Twelve Bigs and other adult mentors (representing Berrien, Ingham, Mecosta, Newaygo, Ottawa, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties) convened at Camp Newaygo for a series of hands-on workshops on digital photography, kayaking, fishing, bird watching and other types of outdoor recreation. They were joined by Lisa Myers from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Andrea Ketchmark of the North Country Trail Association. The group even took a field trip to explore a local segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail and  Newaygo State Park where they experimented with disc golf and geocaching.

All of the participants experienced either new places or new activities during this short Parks in Focus training. Importantly, they all said that the workshops offered have increased the likelihood that they’ll take up these activities – particularly geocaching, photography, hiking and camping – with their Littles. Check out some of the photo highlights on Flickr!

I feel fortunate that I was chosen for this project and I look forward to sharing this new knowledge with my Little, my children and my friends. Thank you Parks in Focus. You Rock!
~ 2012 Big Training Participant

The Bigs will reconnect, along with their respective Littles, from June 15 to 17 for a weekend excursion to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Stay tuned for updates from that trip!

Each Big received a resource packet complete with pamphlets and other literature on local recreational destinations and outdoor activities.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Foundation for Youth Investment in cooperation with The Outdoor Foundation. Additional project support is being provided by the Udall Foundation, TrueNorth Community Services, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

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