Adventure Crew launches ‘Adventure in Place’
Every Saturday during the school year, Adventure Crew takes more than 100 city teens from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky schools on outdoor adventures. The nonprofit lets kids participate in activities ranging from skiing to kayaking (at no cost), stepping out of their comfort zones and deepening their connection with nature in the process.
With gatherings suspended and schools closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, however, those group adventures have been put on hold. But Adventure Crew knows it’s important that Crew kids keep exploring.
So Adventure Crew has launched “Adventure in Place,” a way to interact with its roster of nearly 1,000 local students and keep them engaged with the outdoors while they shelter in place.
Each Saturday morning – when the Crew would normally gather for an outing – Adventure Crew staff members share a nature-related video prompt on the organization’s Facebook page and Instagram account.
Prompts challenge Crew kids to “Adventure in Place” by heading outdoors to observe nature in their own neighborhoods. Students then have the opportunity to post a photo, video or comment showcasing their response to the adventure prompt.
But the fun doesn’t end there. Students who respond to the Facebook prompt receive a “Crew Cares” package, which Crew staff deliver to kids’ doors (while practicing social distancing). Packages feature goodies to help kids continue to “Adventure in Place,” including a nature journal and a guide for using it.
The initial prompt was a bingo-style scavenger hunt that encouraged kids to explore their neighborhoods in search of things like blooming plants, animals (domestic and wild) and neighbors engaging in outdoor activities. (Check out the hilarious video on Adventure Crew’s Facebook page.)
Other challenges have included capturing a photo of nature and the current challenge, which asks kids to share what they’re doing for Earth Day. Adventure Crew staff will share prompts every Saturday through the end of May, when its school-year adventures would normally come to an end.
“The one thing all of us still have right now is time in nature,” said Kirsten MacDougal, Adventure Crew’s executive director. “More people than ever are reconnecting to the outdoors during this pandemic. But most of our city’s kids don’t have the same access and opportunity to explore the woods or a river, so we brought the Crew to them through our Adventure in Place series. We can’t just forget about these kids who need us most right now.”
Adventure Crew is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to connecting city teens in Greater Cincinnati with nature through engaging recreation, education and conservation activities. Founded in 2013, the nonprofit now serves all Cincinnati Public Schools high schools, seventh and eighth graders in select CPS elementary schools, and five schools in Northern Kentucky – a total of 24 schools and nearly 1,000 students.
Through challenging monthly adventures, city teens develop the courageous spirit to step out of their comfort zone and discover new worlds – outside in nature and inside themselves. This deep connection to nature will set a positive course for their lives – and help create the next generation of environmental stewards. For more information, visit www.adventurecrew.org.