FSPW partnered with Bonner Homeless Transitions (BHT) again this year to introduce children in their transitional housing program to the great outdoors. Out of the four hikes we planned, we were able to follow through with three of them. Mother Nature got in the way of our June hike, as she can in the Scotchmans.
We were able to have some adult volunteers as well as other shorter participants join us for the hikes. The first hike we did was at the Ross Creek Cedars with Brian Baxter teaching the kids (and adults) all about the flora and fauna that call the area home.
For the next hike, Sandy Compton, accompanied by Golden Canine, led the group up the East Fork of Blue Creek. Throwing rocks in the creek and sticks for Golden Canine were a highlight for the kids.
For our final hike, Sandy and Golden Canine led the group part way up Big Eddy Trail #999. The theme of throwing rocks during a break continued at the rock scree part way up the trail and we had lunch looking out over the river. The kids even got to see an elk skeleton and got a lesson on skeletons and bones.
There was one lucky girl from BHT that was able to join us on all 3 hikes and she proved to be a tough cookie. Another boy from BHT joined us for two of the hikes and was in awe of nature. He did a complete 180 from his first hike to his second and seemed to love (almost) every minute of it.
We even had some families join us as well with children ranging from 4 to 7. It was a great opportunity to get everyone outdoors and make some new friends in the process! We’re already looking forward to this hiking series for next season.