May 6, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III & IV • Page 9 SCHOOLS & CAMPS The American Camp Association and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently joined forces to bring outdoor ethics and minimum-impact principles to kids nationwide. Through their partnership, ACA and the Center will provide campers of all ages with easy, basic techniques to care for and protect the natural lands they enjoy at camp and at home. From summer day camps to month long, say “farewell” to mom and dad camps, kids will learn about many leave no trace concepts including pack it in, pack it out, respect wildlife, and share the trails. “While at camp, kids learn about independence, the importance of community and respect. All of these dovetail great with the Leave No Trace (Center’s) principles of respect for wildlife, using care around the water, taking care of the trails, planning ahead, etc. This is a great opportunity for both ACA and the Center,” commented Rhonda Mickelson, executive director, ACA Southeastern. The new partnership utilizes components from ACA’s Outdoor Living Skills program that teaches youth how to live in the outdoors. Together, the Center and ACA are creating educational materials that empower youth with skills that encourage them to protect natural lands while they are hiking, bicycling, camping, boating, horseback riding, and enjoying any form of outdoor recreation. “We’re thrilled about our new partnership with the American Camp Association. Leave no trace training and outreach will soon be readily available to campers enjoying all types of outdoor activities,” said Dana Watts, executive director of the Center. “What better place to teach kids about caring for the outdoors than during their positive experiences at camp?” The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships. The Leave No Trace program builds awareness, appreciation, and respect for wild lands. The Center has a variety of program offerings and curricula to teach and share the seven Leave No Trace principles. According to the Center’s website, those principles include: Plan Ahead & Prepare Summer campers urged to learn ‘leave no trace’ skills Know the regulations and special concerns for the area. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. Visit in small groups, or split larger groups into smaller groups. Repackage food to minimize waste. Use a map and compass to eliminate the need to use paint, cairns, or flags as markers. Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grass, or snow. Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams. Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary. In popular areas, concentrate use on existing trails and campsites; walk single-file in the middle of a trail, even when it is wet or muddy; keep campsites small and focus activity where vegetation is absent. In pristine areas, disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails; avoid places where impacts are just beginning. Dispose of Waste Properly Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug six to eight inches deep and at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. To wash yourself or dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater. Leave What You Find Preserve the past. Examine, but do not touch, cultural or historical structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you found them. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Do not build structures or furniture. Do not dig trenches. Minimize Campfire Impacts Campfires can cause lasting impacts. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires. Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, and scatter the cooled ashes. Respect Wildlife Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach animals. Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behavior, and exposes animals to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife when they are mating, nesting, or raising young, and during winter. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail. Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors. Avoid loud voices and noises. For more information, visit Learn the fundamentals of sewing so you too can be a designer. Classes for Children 4 to 18 Enrollment is Ongoing. Register Now for Summer Camp. 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