Adventures in store for Schoharie County youth

Teens and even some younger kids who like the outdoors can't say they have nothing to do this summer
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Teens and even some younger kids who like the outdoors can’t say they have nothing to do this summer.

A series of adventure trips for children ages 12 to 17 run by the Schoharie County Youth Bureau includes hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking and rafting, fishing, horseback riding, and finding locations using global positioning systems.

There are also some activities available for younger children.

Many of the trips offer participants a chance to get into the Adirondack backcountry or even to the cliffs of New Hampshire, according to program coordinator George McDonnell.

Canoe trip slideshow

To view a slideshow from the Schoharie County Youth Bureau’s canoe adventure trip to the Franklinton Vlaie Wildlife Management Area, click here.

On Tuesday, one of the first groups warmed up for summer with an all-day canoe trip around Vlaie Pond at the 185-acre Franklinton Vlaie Wildlife Management Area in the town of Broome.

Several other canoe trips, raning from two to four days long, have already filled, but a few spaces are left on a Aug. 4-7 trip to Long Lake in the Adirondacks, McDonnell said. That trip includes a different lakeside campsite each night, he said.

The Long Lake trip costs $45 per person. Costs for other trips vary from $10 to $60. Some scholarships are also available through community service work.

A special teen outdoor leadership program costs $150. That program, including several trips during the summer, is new this year for girls and boys ages 16 and 17, according to county Youth Director Sara Robertson. The program helps train teens in skills useful for such things as working on camp staffs or running other outdoor trips, she said.

Participants meet 12 times throughout the summer to help teens learn leadership and outdoor skills. In addition, McDonnell said participants go on an overnight hike and an overnight canoe trip, as well as whitewater rafting. The training leads to the group’s final project, where they will plan and lead there own four-day-adventure trip.

Another new feature of the Youth Bureau programs this year are “multi-adventure trips” that combine activities at a state park with visits to museums or historic sites.

A July 21-23 trip featuring the Adirondack Museum, and a July 30-Aug. 1 Rodger’s Rock trip featuring Fort Ticonderoga were still available this week, McDonnell said. A three-day climbing trip to the Rumney, N.H. area July 28-30 will offer rock climbing for all skill levels, according to McDonnell.

“It ranges from beginners to expert climbers,” he said. An instructor will be on hand to teach the basics of rope and rock skills.

A two-day kayaking trip on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts is also open Aug. 28-29.

While many trips go far afield to the North Country or neighboring states, some adventures and learning experiences stay close to home, including several geo-caching trips to the Landis Arboretum in Esperance. Geo-caching includes use of the GPS technology that is rapidly replacing the traditional magnetic compass for many outdoor recreationists. Participants learn how to plot a map, enter coordinates and then hunt for capsules filled with trinkets or messages and left at precise locations by other people.

The arboretum also offers other nature-based programs. Some, like several overnight trips for junior adventurers ages 8 to 11, are in conjunction with the county Youth Bureau.

Now in its third year, the adventure trip program has added several new trips this season, including local fishing trips, a trail cleanup squad and the junior adventures program, Robertson said. Funding for the programs come from a combination of fees from participants and county funds, according to McDonnell.

Part of the total $151,832 Youth Bureau administrative operating budget for 2008 is a $16,000 allocation designated for local youth programs.

More information about the adventure programs can be found online at www.schoharie.ny.gov by following the link under Officials and Department to the Youth Bureau site. The Youth Bureau can also be reached by calling 234-2686.

Categories: Schenectady County

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