Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spreading Wellness: How comfortable are you with eliminating in the woods?

Birthday Adventures in the Upper Peninsula
of Michigan! Fantastic memories! :)
Monkey bars, building forts in the woods, playing in the creek, and exploring were a large part of my childhood. This is still true, and quality time (doing fun things) with family and friends means more to me than anything else. When my oldest nephew was born he was the oldest on all sides of the family, and had so many toys that I decided I wanted to create memories with him instead of getting him a toy that he would forget. So when he turned 7 years old, I took him on his first birthday adventure. He was bubbly, so excited to be going with his auntie for a weekend, and such a fun kid! Looking back, that was my first real guiding experience, and what a great kid to help teach me what to expect! :) We went mountain biking on Grand Island in Michigan, and camped at a state forest campground. We had a great day, took a ferry to the island, swam in Lake Superior, had our picnic lunch, cooked on our little backpacking stove, and were supposed to be eating our supper when he clammed up. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what could be wrong, when I realized he hadn't gone to the bathroom. Sure enough, he was afraid to go in the woods...but now we were back at the campground and there was a pit toilet, so after some gentle questioning, and encouragement, all things went well. He was able to eat his supper. The rest of the evening we spent relaxing, skipping rocks, learning about the cargo ships that passed by, and chatting around the campfire. He learned the importance of our human needs. And, for all birthday adventures that followed, no encouraging was needed...but it was always in the back of my mind to remember to ask if needed.

When I took my first Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course, there was a large section on leading children in the wilderness. The teacher brought up the importance of eliminating in the woods, and teaching kids how to do that early in their life so that it wasn't an issue later on. I had first hand experience with this, and what he said made sense. Being in a WFR class, we always had the most extreme issues on your mind, but sometimes we overlook the simple fix...one should note, it isn't always easy to encourage someone if they hadn't learned as a child.

Wilderness adventure is in our backyards here in Duluth and Superior, and we at E3 encourage you to take advantage of everything our area has to offer! We have access to over a million acres of playground within a 3 hour drive of the Twin Ports, including the Boundary Waters, the state forest lands in Wisconsin, the Apostle Islands, and so much more! If you aren't a natural explorer, join us for our adventures. E3 is leading a Women's Outdoor Adventure Group, starting with a Spring Hiking Series (registration ends tonight at midnight), and we are planning a "New to the Twin Ports" Outdoor Adventure group as well, so stay tuned! We are in the midst of planning spring/summer BWCAW trips, and still have 2 Guided Family Hikes coming up (March 14th and 28th). We are passionate about the outdoors, and want to share this passion with you...and we encourage you to do your part in preparing for our wilderness trips. Ask yourself, how comfortable are you with eliminating in the woods? :)

If you have funny stories to share about your wilderness adventure, we would love to hear them. :) You can feel free to comment on our blog below, or send them to us in an email (info@e3twinports.com). Let our laughter continue, and all in good fun! :)

For more information about E3 Twin Ports, LLC, visit our website at www.e3twinports.com, follow us on Pinterest, and for daily updates "Like" us on Facebook! :) We love sharing our passions with everyone, and helping to Spread Wellness. To sign up for our weekly blog, simply send an email to info@e3twinports.com, and write "Blog Sign-Up" in the subject line.

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