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Ron Swaisgood
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  • San Diego, CA
  • United States
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Ron Swaisgood's Friends

  • Barbara Mascareno
  • Jennifer Dengler
  • Asif Iqbal
  • Ricky Crumbley
  • Holly A. Hunter
  • Krista Lawhon
  • Jenni Frankenberg Veal
  • Daniel Raven-Ellison
  • Janice Swaisgood
  • Suz Lipman
  • Ashley Wainwright Donahue
  • Chip Donahue
  • Avery Cleary

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Latest Activity

Ron Swaisgood replied to Jeanine Silversmith's discussion First Steps: How (and why) I Started a Family Nature Club in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Great story, Jeanine, thanks for sharing! That's a good lesson to learn, that sometimes there will be lots of participants and sometimes there will be dry spells. The trick is not to get discouraged and to just enjoy the nature you came for in…"
Aug 21, 2012
Ron Swaisgood replied to Ken Finch's discussion Nature Play as an Everyday Joy of Childhood? For Kids, Frequency Requires Proximity in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Nail on the head, Ken. Great blog. I like to think of those less frequent activities, like the family nature club near and dear to my heart, as jump-starters for more frequent nature play. Once that spirit is kindled and the ritual established, the…"
Jun 29, 2012
Ken Schmaltz replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"I agree with Janice: taking it all on yourself can lead to burn out. I view self care as a plane ride. If the oxygen masks pop out, you have to put yours on before you help others put theirs on or you'll pass out and be no good to anybody. If…"
Apr 16, 2012
Ron Swaisgood replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Hi Jessica, another thought is to find occasional leaders to take your place leading hikes, if no one is ready to commit to becoming an organizer of a sub-club. That can get you a needed break, diversify the experience for the club, and help…"
Apr 16, 2012
Janice Swaisgood replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"NICE!!! Thanks for sharing that Ken!Janice "
Apr 15, 2012
Janice Swaisgood replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Hi Jessica. I also find that when I organize the hike/adventure, during that outing I end up spending more time "observing" my kids from afar as they play and explore with other kids. Ron and I also tend to split up - him at the front and…"
Apr 15, 2012
Jessica Groenendijk replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Many thanks, Ron, Ken, and Sylvia, for your replies. It's reassuring to read that you have had similar experiences and it's interesting to hear how you are dealing with them. It looks like tomorrow we'll be a big group again, but last…"
Apr 11, 2012
Ken Schmaltz replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Just came across this Helen Keller quote while flipping through Freedom of the Hills: "Security is mostly superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the…"
Apr 7, 2012
Ron Swaisgood replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"We have experienced exactly what you are saying. The club outings are very rewarding for other reasons, but especially as a leader, you have less quality bonding time with your own kids.  It's even a little stressful to be the one in…"
Mar 28, 2012
Sylvia Busby replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Jessica, Ken!  So nice to read your posts!  I have been part of Ron's family nature club for two years leading a bi-weekly adventure for toddlers, and I often feel that I do not time to bond with my two children in nature, since we…"
Mar 28, 2012
Ken Schmaltz replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"On the kid's hikes I lead, I try to make sure I find time with just me and my kids. Luckily, there are usually two or three other parents with lots of mountain experience, so it's easy for me to hang out on the trail with my boys or find…"
Mar 28, 2012
Jessica Groenendijk replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"By the way, I've noticed something else very interesting. I've noticed that my kids are becoming more confident and daring on rough trails. They're often the first to climb or jump something. To my surprise, I've seen other, even…"
Mar 28, 2012
Jessica Groenendijk replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Great post as always. I completely agree with you; it's about stretching our comfort zones, taking calculated risks, and also, trusting our kids to a greater extent than many (Peruvian) parents seem to be able to... The Club I started with a…"
Mar 28, 2012
Ken Schmaltz replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"My brother lives in Australia, and my kids want to go see their cousins but they don't want to go camping there. They and I agree that we'd much rather go where there are bears and avalanches than where there are poisonous snakes and…"
Mar 23, 2012
Ron Swaisgood replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Great feedback from everyone! You're hitting on all the reasons why nature clubs are a good idea. Ken points out how having other kids along motivates sometimes-reluctant hikers (think of it as a play date on a trail). Sylvia points out that…"
Mar 22, 2012
Susan D Caruso replied to Ron Swaisgood's discussion Risk and Reward in Nature: Can a Family Nature Club Help You Tip the Balance in Favor of Nature? in the group C&NN Natural Families Network
"Fantastic post! I love your honesty and applaud your courage to address fears and societal pressure and spend such memorable times in the wild with your kids in spite, and because of the risks! Acknowledging that the car ride home actually…"
Mar 22, 2012

Profile Information

Title or Role
Director of Applied Animal Ecology
Organization
San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research
Bio
As Director of Applied Animal Ecology for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, I supervise several endangered species recovery programs in southern California and around the globe. In addition to this role, I am championing the Zoo’s increasing involvement in the movement to reconnect kids to nature. As a father of two boys, aged 3 and 5, I am a passionate advocate of getting my own family out in nature. My wife and co-founded a local family nature club (Family Adventures in Nature or FAN Club). Join our website to see what we do. If you're not a participant you can still join as an "observational member." We are also on the steering committee for the local civic association’s efforts at sustainability, which includes the goal of connecting children to nature and the steering committee of of the San Diego Children & Nature Collaborative (http://www.sdchildrenandnature.org/).

Getting kids out in nature is our number 1 priority! Starting with our own! We are all avid hikers and campers, and nature is where we turn for fun, strengthening family bonds, and relaxation.
Web site
http://https://www.bigtent.com/groups/fanclub

Ron Swaisgood's Blog

Family nature clubs build community

My wife, Janice, and I founded a family nature club recently. We have monthly (at least) Saturday outings, but already a second smaller group has broken off to establish "Wilderness Wednesdays"--nature outings every Wednesday from 10-12.



Today brought home to me why we are doing this—it’s fun!…

Continue

Posted on February 6, 2010 at 2:06am — 3 Comments

Comment Wall (6 comments)

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At 11:23am on October 3, 2011, Avery Cleary said…

Hey Ron,  Really enjoyed meeting you! Great to connect here as well.  Friday I had an impulse to visit the zoo on my way to the airport. WOW  I loved it!  Hoping to pull the family together for

a vacation at the Bahia and a trip to the zoo early next year.

Definitely want to connect with you and Janice whenever that happens.  Fondly, Avery

At 11:08am on October 3, 2011, Chip Donahue said…
Thanks so much for fixing that problem!
At 7:13am on October 3, 2011, Ashley Wainwright Donahue said…

Thank you for the kind words about the Journeys article. We are still obviously having tons of fun with our group!

 

Chip has definitely gotten over his anxiety of snakes jumping out at him, although he and our oldest just hiked to McAfee's Knob and he was a bit nervous watching his 11 year old daughter dangle her legs over the side of the cliff. But, he let her! Go Chip!

 

He is on the ning site....not sure why you can't find him here. Maybe look at my friends and he should be listed.

 

We have thoroughly enjoyed following you and your family....and your nature club this last year and are always inspired by the effort you and Janice make get families out the the comfort zone and into the wild. And yes, the conference this year was our 2nd year in a row we had to miss. But, we were thrilled to hear that next year's will be at the National Conservation Training Center. We went this past summer and it is an exceptional campus. So, we are definitely in for next year;s conference!

 

My best to all of you!

At 11:22am on September 30, 2011, Holly A. Hunter said…
Yes, I was happy to finally meet you both at the Gathering.  It would be fun to come up with a camping trip somewhere between us next year!  Would love to relax and camp with you and your family!  We also love coming to California, so maybe can plan something with your group too.
At 7:02pm on October 7, 2010, jessica said…
Greetings dear,
My name is jessica,
and i just read your profile,
so i decide to express my feeling
that you might be of good person to me,
so please you can reply to me for me
to give you my picture
and more about me.(jessicaarona@yahoo.com)
Yours Truly Friends.
ms jessica.
At 11:10pm on March 17, 2010, Suz Lipman said…
Hi Ron! Great to connect here and about Family Nature Clubs. I look forward to lots more collaboration and ideas. Thank you so much for your nice comments about my blog. I don't know that my life's idyllic, but I am blessed to live in a beautiful place with a nature-loving family, and we try to enjoy it all. Your family is welcome to come see the redwoods anytime. Hopefully the owls will come around.
 
 
 

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