On March 21, the first day of spring, 16 Bigs and Littles embarked on a COVID-safe hiking adventure with Muddy Sneakers, a partnering nonprofit that provides experiential and science-oriented outdoor education to public school fifth-graders.
It was a fun day, full of exploration, laughter, and connection led by Kiersten Wilber, our Muddy Sneakers facilitator who has a personal connection to BBBS – she was Big Sister when she lived in Alaska.
Bigs and Littles learned how to “LNT” (leave no trace) and to observe nature in a respectful and harmonious way. They even caught crawfish and salamander! This experience, no doubt, left a mark on them. There is nothing as quite memorable or essential as getting outside and watching our youth and their mentors connect, laugh, question, and explore. Potential was ignited.
Feedback was remarkable from our Bigs and Littles.
“Nature makes me more calm,” said one participant. “I had a lot of fun playing and exploring,” said another. Bigs and Littles both expressed an eagerness to get outside again, and many said they hoped for a longer hike next time!
We are so excited to grow this partnership with Muddy Sneakers and help our Bigs and Littles “connect” outside, especially after such a stressful year of disconnect. Our recent outing was the first of many planned hikes with Muddy Sneakers and was a great introduction to the hiking program we hope to bring to fruition regionally in June – Club Summit.
Watch this delightful video for a taste of the outdoors in spring!