Outdoor Families

Kids Camp: Stone Age Time Travelers at Coyote Hills

One of my favorite local Bay Area parks is Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, CA.  If you glance at my Instagram feed you will see that I'm there very often!  This is my go-to-park for spending time outdoors with my children by hiking, biking, nature walks and visiting the Butterfly Garden.

Not only does Coyote Hills provide great outdoor activities, they also have many family events throughout the year and are very involved with the local community!  If you are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Coyote Hills has a special kid summer program that I'm very excited to tell you about...

Kids Camp: Stone Age Time Travelers

Photo by East Bay Regional Park District

Play outdoors and practice skills once needed to survive everyday life in the ancient wilds!
  • Learn to create shelter, fire, cordage and tools.
  • Discover edible and useful plants.
  • Play games of the past and visit an Ohlone Village site.
  • Embark on a fun-filled Stone Age journey through hands-on wilderness skills and nature awareness practices.

When: July 20-23, 2015 [4 days]

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

At this outdoor day camp event kids (ages 9-13), can play and learn local outdoor skills that bring confidence and boost self-esteem.  As a parent, it's always exciting to see my kids learn new skills especially when it's a skill that doesn't require modern technology.  From making Cattail mats to fire-making pump drills, this is fun day camp for kids to learn and be active outdoors this summer.

Photo by East Bay Regional Park District

How to Register

Registration by Phone: Call 1-888-327-2757, option 2

Cost: $200 for residents of Alameda & Contra Costa counties / $220 for non-residents

For Ages: 9-13

Registrations Dates: May 19th - July 16th, 2015

For more information, please visit East Bay Regional Park District Facebook.

Please join Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Related Posts and Links:
  1. Backpacker Magazine - Oakland, CA: Red Hill, Coyote Hills Regional Park
  2. My Backyard Hike - Coyote Hills Regional Park
  3. Family Hiking Adventure Completed: 2013 Trails Challenge
  4. A Hike Before the Rain...

This is a sponsored post by East Bay Regional Park District.  As always these are my true and honest opinions. 

Becoming a National Park Service Junior Ranger

One of the great programs that the National Park Service provides is the Junior Ranger Program.
The Junior Ranger motto is...

"Explore, Learn and Protect!"

The NPS Junior Ranger Program is:
"An activity based program conducted in almost all parks, and some Junior Ranger programs are national.  Many national parks offer young visitors the opportunity to join the National Park Service "family" as Junior Rangers.  Interested youth complete a serious of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate.  Junior Rangers are between the ages of 5 to 13, although people of all ages can participate." 
[United States. National Park Service. "Junior Rangers | National Park Service." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <http://www.nps.gov/kids/jrRangers.cfm>.]
We had the opportunity to visit John Muir National Historic Site, which was John Muir's home in Martinez, California in the San Francisco Bay Area during the early 1900's.  We had a lovely family picnic on the grounds just as I imagined John Muir and his family did many times!

While visiting the Visitor Center, we were pleased to find out that our son was finally old enough to participate in the Junior Ranger program so we acquired the Junior Ranger booklet and began the program.

After completing a serious of booklet activities which included:
  • Answering questions
  • Scavenger Hunt in John Muir's home
  • Detective Time
  • Drawings
  • Observing a Tree
  • Investigating Reporting

We were able to proceed with our son's "Junior Ranger Pledge" with NPS Ranger Jim! [Video]

My son was so happy he was finally a Junior Ranger that after he got his badge, we headed for a hike on Mount Wanda, which was named after one of John Muir's daughter!

Chasqui Mom, Junior Ranger David and NPS Ranger Jim

Hiking on Nature Trail on Mount Wanda, John Muir National Historic Site
It's very special to my husband and I, that my son was able to become a Junior Ranger at John Muir's home and then we were able to hike on the same trails that John Muir hiked with his children.  It was a very fitting for the occasion!

Thank you National Park Service and Ranger Jim, from the bottom of our hearts!

Related Post and Links:

  1. Backpacker Magazine: Oakland, CA: Mt. Wanda, John Muir National Historic Site

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!-

#OutdoorFamilies Enjoying Summer Time One Picture at a Time

Summer is the time when kids are free from school and parents try to be "free" from work!  Summer time reminds me of my childhood road trips to beaches, mountains and deserts.  Sadly, Summer is coming to an end (and for many it has ended already) but Hiking Along and I wanted to celebrate the great moments #OutdoorFamilies had this Summer 2014, just like the previous year summer adventures!  From Cananda to East and West Coast of the USA, outdoor families know how to have fun.

Jumping into Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire.
Photo by Jennifer Chambers of Hiking Along

The Moser Family heading up to Summit Lake in the Hoover Wilderness at 11,100 ft in the sky!
Photo by Jeff Moser of The Path Less Beaten

Enjoying the waves at Patrick Point State Park in Trinada, CA
Photo by Lindsey Stewart

Having a good time at hiking at Wilcox Pass Banff National Park

Too much sweetness in this family backpacking trip in Uintas, Utah
Photo by Alyssa Erickson of The Kid Project 

Sometimes mamas need a trip without the tots, Susan enjoying Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjord National Park in Alaska!
Photo by Susan Strayer of Mountain Mom and Tots

Splashing around in Bear Lake, Utah
Photo by Kathy Dalton of Go Adventure Mom

Crabbing while SUPing! Double the fun at Nantucket, Massachusetts
Photo by Christina McGuire of Skirting Season and Teton Family

Sister and brother enjoying the views at Moraine Lake in the Alberta Canadian Rockies!
Photo by Amber Johnson of Mile High Mama.

Which pictures above is your favorite of #OutdoorFamilies enjoying nature?

Do you have a favorite family summer snapshot of your own you would like to share? Share your picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag @HikingAlongKids, @ChasquiMom and hashtag #OutdoorFamilies on your photo.

Enjoy the few days left of Summer (if you have any left) and start planning outdoor family Fall adventures!  Head on over to Hiking Along to see some more great summer snapshots!

Related Posts and Links:
  1. Outdoor Summer Round Up

"Sleeping Under the Stars" Family Project

As the Polar Vortex crippled the rest of the North America this past winter, California was experiencing an extremely warm winter.  One warm winter night, my husband and I were reminiscing about backpacking/camping as we were making our summer outdoor plans.  I was inspired by a fellow outdoor blogger, Tanya Koob's "The Camping Project" where her family camped 40 nights from May to September!

We decided that since we were experiencing 70 degree weather in the middle of January, we were going to take advantage of our warm weather and go camping!  One thing led to another and we came up with a little project:

Camp outdoors for at least one night, each month for the entire year

For the past FIVE months we have been able to to continue with our goal with a combination of camping and backpacking:

We currently have plans to "Sleep Under the Stars" until August and I'm pretty sure that we will be able to complete our year long project into the Fall and Winter months with some planning and maybe visiting some yurts!

My kids love sleeping in our tents so much, that they ask to set up our tents when we are just day hiking! I encourage you to join our family with our little project and discover how fun it is to make "Sleeping Under the Stars" part of our lives more than a couple times year!   In 2013, President Obama declared the month of June as Great Outdoors Month but my wish is that everyone enjoys the Great Outdoors all year long as we are doing with our "Sleeping Under the Stars" family project.

What are your family's outdoor plans for the Summer?

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Pedal, Brake and Balance: My Boy Can Ride!

My boy learned to ride a bike this week! He did it the "old fashion" way with training wheels.  He started riding a bike around his second birthday on a crappy hand-me down bike (training wheels) with rust on it.  He received a balance bike as a birthday present but he wasn't tall enough to ride the balance bike right away, so he continued riding on his rusty bike.

We tried and tried the balance bike once he was tall enough but my son really likes to "be like daddy" and wanted to pedal.  Frankly, I just wanted him to burn energy so we let him learn to ride a bike the old fashion with training wheels.  First he learned to pedal then steer, then a few months ago he learned braking as well as riding fast!

Two years later on his bigger new Giant Animator Bike, on a sunny afternoon he decided to ride his bike.  2.5 hours of crashing in the bushes and falling off his bike, my determined little boy learned to ride a bike with no training wheels.  He turned to me and said, "Mommy! Now I can Pedal, Brake and Balance!!".  Lots of joyous yelling, double high-fives ensued and we even had a cake later in the day.

This isn't a pro-training wheels nor a pro-balance bike post but a "have fun learning how to ride a bike" post!  I never thought I'd have the same feeling of excitement as when I saw my baby boy take his first steps, but this is as exciting as his walking milestone except that he joined in the celebration!

Pedal, brake and balance! How did you feel when your little ones learned to ride?

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Outdoor Families! This #OutFam Twitter Chat is for You!

Announcing the newest addition to Twitter chats....#OutFam

One of my main purposes of starting Chasqui Mom blog was that I wanted to help other families whether new or experienced outdoor families, enjoy the outdoors.  Low and behold, a year and a half later and thousands of tweets later I have made so many connections with other outdoor family bloggers!

An amazing group of outdoor family bloggers has come together to share their expertise in a new Twitter chat focusing on outdoor family adventures.  We've been sharing our stories and insight through the #OutdoorFamilies hashtag for awhile but now we're taking the next step and opening up the conversation through the chat-friendly hashtag #OutFam.  Not only am I thrilled to be a part of this group, but to be able to connect these inspiring adventurers from all over North America is a true testament to the power of Social Media.

I hope you'll join us on Twitter to share your ideas and experience as well as learn from this collection of adventuring families who really know their stuff.  Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, there will be something for everyone.

Each week we will be having a different topic related to the families being in the outdoors but for our inaugural #OutFam Twitter chat, I'm happy to announce that I have teamed up with the great outdoor family blogger, Val in Real Life to talk about "Love of the Outdoors".

How do you participate in #OutFam Twitter chat?
  1. You must have a Twitter account.  If you do not have an account, sign up here: Twitter.com
  2. Follow the Co-Hosts: @valinreallife and @melissabravery
  3. Join in on the conversation! Every Wednesday at 4:30 pm EST/1:30 pm PST (30 minutes) starting February 12th.

Until then, please share with other families about this great new chat, #OutFam.

If you have any questions please leave a comment here. You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!