When I see people walk out of the woods or trek down a mountainside or yank a kayak out of a river, I can’t help but sidle up to them and fire a dozen questions their direction. In fact, that’s how I recently ended up chatting with a hiker named Daniel inside a Wilmington, N.C., grocery store.
Daniel was standing at the deli counter, looking a little bit weathered, with a well-worn backpack, boots and a relaxed stance.
Me: “You through hiking”
Me: “You going camping?”
Then turning to me, he said he was on a trek from Asheville, N.C., to the coast, mostly on roads and sometimes the interstate. Seeing that I was still paying attention, he continued. “I just got back from over a year in Afghanistan. I’m walking to meet friends and visit family — but mostly I’m spending some much needed time alone.”
I get that. I tell him that’s fantastic.
Daniel gives me a puzzled look and tells me I’m the first person to tell him he’s doing something positive. Everyone else, he says, is telling him he’s wasting his time, living dangerously and achieving nothing.
I wished him well on his journey and we parted. But my limited interaction with Daniel reminds me of the importance of (more…)
It probably goes without saying that most of us here at the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) are big fans — and loyal customers — of our local Whole Foods Market.
Since we put such an emphasis on doing good things for our bodies, it only makes sense that we purchase those items we put in our bodies from markets that sell only healthy, organic and fresh fare.
So when the good folks at our local Whole Foods Market in Wilmington, N.C., said they wanted to help us raise money for NCOAE’s Education Without Walls program, we just shook our heads and asked, “Where do we sign up?”
What that means is this: You do your grocery shopping at the Wilmington Whole Foods Market on March 23, 2016 — also known as Community Giving Day and 5% Day — and 5 percent of Whole Foods’ net sales on that day are donated to the Education Without Walls program, allowing us to continue our important work of educating local youth through unique wilderness-based experiences just miles from home.
Taking a step back for a moment, what we do here at NCOAE is plan, facilitate and guide teen and adult adventurers all around the globe. Locally, we offer youngsters in grades 7-9 and 10-12 the opportunity to (more…)