I'm in the process of launching Walk on the Wild Side Family Nature Club in Great Falls, Montana. My timing isn't perfect -- we already have snow here -- so the weather for our kick-off gathering in November could be dicey. Planning activities and finding sites most of the year will be easy. Our town is on a river and we're not far from mountains. But I'd love to have suggestions from other northern-tier clubs on what they do for winter gatherings. I'm really committed to the notion that there's no bad weather, only bad clothing. Kids usually will go out no matter what. But I'd like to hear how other clubs select sites and determine activities when it's really cold out. Thank you!

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Sorry for the delay in replying, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciated your "Winter Wonderland" package. It contains a great variety of fun activities. We've had two cold-weather gatherings so far -- the last one I nearly canceled (it was 10 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 12 Celsius). But we met anyway. Parents froze, but the kids played for more than an hour rolling down a snowy hill before we finally made them come in. We had about 30 people attend, which wasn't bad considering the weather. Next time we may try the "headless snowman" activity. Thank you! Linda

Juliet Robertson said:
Hello Linda and Greetings from Scotland!

This is a great discussion and I just had to pitch in ....

1) If it's any help the Swedish I Ur Och Skur schools and pre-schools have the following policy re winter temperatures
"I Ur och Skur schools have an indoor place. If the weather is really atrocious or the temperature falls below -10°C then the children will spend up to three hours inside at some point between 8.30am and 2.30pm which is the standard day." It's worth remembering that most Swedish outdoor schools are in the near vicinity of woodland which provides more shelter. Also many have outdoor shelters and dens in the forests too.

2) If you visit the resources section of my website, scroll down and click on the "Winter Wonderland" link. You can freely download the activity pack I created a wee while ago.

Best wishes and enjoy the cold weather. This our second day of frost! No snow yet!
Linda - Hi - Margaret Rietano of The Elements DC checking in here! My utmost apologies for not looking at this earlier. John Thielbahr was absolutely right - I don't get on the computer too often. But Elements 2010 wrapped up a week ago - and finally I'm coming up for air and getting a chance to correspond.

Please let me know if you are interested in learning more about The Elements. I am available at mrietano@theelementsdc.com. Still perfecting the web site but alot of information is there too and an informational video is in the works.
Look forward to hearing from you and happy Spring! - Margaret

Linda Caricaburu said:
Wow, thanks to you all! Less than 24 hours after I posted this, I have a ton of great resources and ideas. It feels like Christmas! I'll definitely incorporate the idea of using areas with visitor centers -- an easy way to transition from inside to out. And it hadn't occurred to me to build a campfire. I know that would be a hit. I appreciate all the suggestions for Web sites and hearing about "The Elements." I can't wait to dive into them all. You all are making my job of starting this club a lot easier. Many thanks!


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