Yesterday morning, twelve cars travelled up the Blue Ridge Parkway towards Peaks of Otter. Looking back at the long line of cars was only a foreshadowing of the fun that was about to happen. Big kids, little kids, and some brave parents took on the challenge of getting to the top.

Here’s a reference:
That’s the top from the bottom.

Here’s the top, from the top.

I recently read David Sobel’s “Beyond Ecophobia,” where he states:
“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.””

Take a look at the gallery from yesterday’s event, and we think you will see just what he means. The confidence we saw, the problem-solving that had to be done, and then the unbelievable feeling of accomplishment - getting everyone up to the top, including four very determined three year olds.

Mr. Sobel, we are finding that Nature Clubs for Families are a way to connect those children, those families to the world around them. To create those future natural stewards. Thank you for your encouragement.

If you are involved with getting kids in nature, please seek out David Sobel's "Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Edu... Time well spent, indeed.

Stop reading this now and check out those pictures!

The Donahues

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Comment by Jodi Hiland on November 17, 2009 at 7:21am
Ashley and Chip, these photos are incredible. We have beautiful landscapes in Minnesota, but of course not quite like yours! Everyone in your pictures look so peaceful at the peak; an unforgettable day for all, I'm sure. Thanks for the inspiration, as always.

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