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1845 Market Street | Suite 202 | Camp Hill, PA 17011

Photo by David Raymond

High Summer Means Family Fun

How Much Fun is Yours?

The calendar pages turn all too quickly and September is there, peeking out from behind these late wonderful days of high summer with the promise of autumn to enjoy and a new school year to begin. But August is Family Fun Month, so don't give up on the idea of unscheduled and unstructured days of fun just yet!

If you haven't had a chance to hit the beach, the Summer issue of our three-times-a-year newsletter, Penn's Stewards, is available on our website with some suggestions on where to find the perfect waterside escape. Coming this fall? Our favorite back roads in the parks and forests. Do you have a special drive to share? Let us know!

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator
Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation

Family Fun Month

Squeezing the Last Bit Out of Summer

While getting everyone ready for the school year ahead often seems to be the key priority in August, many families place themselves firmly in the camp that says, "if I see one more back to school advertisement I will scream." Ignore those marketing ploys seeking to separate you from your money and resolve this month to eke out every bit of fun from the long hot days that are the hallmark of August.

On Babble.com, a comprehensive list of 31 Ideas to Celebrate the month provides a great leaping off point - just don't allow the perceived pressure of doing something different every single day to intimidate you. Here's the good news: their 31 suggestions are mostly pretty simple and while taking a ferry ride might not be possible for all of us, a rousing game of Hide and Seek is never a bad idea.

Incidentally, you'll note that while the article is called "31 Ideas," it only includes 30 numbered suggestions. So we might add taking an afternoon to read a book together. The power of a book to shape a child's entire life cannot really be understated and if you scratch your favorite nature lover you will probably find someone who read My Side of the Mountain (or one of the other many great stories) by Jean Craighead George as a child. 

You may not be aware that Jean and her twin brothers (who became ground-breaking grizzly bear researchers) spent their summers outside Boiling Springs in Cumberland County, where a dedicated group of volunteers is working to
restore that summer home to its former Victorian glory. A trip to the property (which sits majestically on the banks of the Yellow Breeches Creek) is perfect for a summer day as well, so why not combine the two activities and read one of Jean's many books while sitting on the lawn near the creek!

And a big thank you to
VoiceofPlay.org for some encouraging statistics:

That Magical First Fishing Trip

How to Make Memories That Last a Lifetime

Jon Sutton of OutdoorEmpire.com was kind enough to share some advice for parents.

Plenty of anglers are interested in introducing their children to the joys of fishing, but unfortunately these initial outings occasional do not go as well as hoped. Instead of coming home with photos of smiling kids and coolers full of fish, these first fishing trips end with irritated youngsters, who think they should have just stayed home playing games and watching television.
But that doesn’t need to be the case. In fact, it is pretty easy to have a good time fishing with your children. Simply plan the trip in a way that suits your kid’s strengths and weaknesses.
This means selecting the proper fishing location, targeting the right species and equipping your kids with gear they can easily use and control, among other things. You’ll also want to make sure they remain comfortable during the trip and that they get the chance to reel in a fish or two (even if they didn’t hook the fish themselves).

Check out the in-depth article on this very topic at OutdoorEmpire.com, where you'll also find a great piece called Teaching Children the Importance of Fish and Wildlife Conservation among many others. 

Where They Lead, We Will Follow

What's Your Reward?

If ever there was a blog that cried out to be read for its title alone, it's AllTrailsLeadtoIceCream.com. Woe be to the outdoor enthusiast who has a lactose intolerance because who among us does not know and love the hiker/biker/runner/ equestrian/high pointer/outdoor enthusiast who doesn't do all the lovely active challenging activities he or she does for the reward of creamy fabulousness. 

The blog celebrates that and all of the other myriad reasons we do the things we do so congratulations and thank you to author David Raymond for sharing his adventures, advice, and the lovely photo that is our masthead this issue (not to mention the "elephant tree" he found on
Colonel Denning State Park's Pole Steeple Trail above). A double scoop for you, sir!

Welcome New Friends!

PPFF Launches Two New Chapters

The new Friends of Boyd Big Tree Preserve (where the paw paw tree pictured above is thriving) will launch on August 8 (6 PM) with a similar first night volunteer effort. Again, all are welcome to come out and get in on the ground floor of a new volunteer crew. 

In late July, the new Friends of Pymatuning State Park formed with a wonderful level of enthusiasm and energy. Their first official night included a tree-planting effort at the Snodgrass launch area and the spreading of safety surface at the Jamestown cabin colony playground. The next meeting of the Friends (when they will formalize the paperwork) will take place on Wednesday, August 30 (6 PM) at the Jamestown Marina Classroom. All are welcome. We know this group will do great things so you'll definitely want to be a part of it! 

Raising Money for the LHHT Shelters

Saving the Chimneys for a Good Night's Sleep 

Efforts continue to raise the $14,000 needed to save the 20 yet-to-be-restored shelters used by the many hikers who enjoy the 70-mile long Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. These three-sided shelters are a welcome reward after a long day of challenging western Pennsylvania rocks and hills.

Read more about the project and support this effort (including your chance to "adopt" a shelter) on this special campaign page of the Foundation's website.
Generosity and creativity by two of the LHHT's supporters, Dane Cramer and Dale Yohe, have resulted in a few "tangible" ways to show your support for the effort.

Dane is selling a custom-designed tee shirt and donating the proceeds to the shelters effort. Dale (get him on Instagram at @dogpacking) designed a patch and sticker the Foundation is giving to donors to the effort. (That's his faithful companion, S'mores, pictured above left in one of the shelters that's been restored.)

Looking Ahead to September

Perhaps the Most Significant National Public Lands Day Ever

At a time when nearly every day brings news of another potential threat to public lands across the United States, September 30 this year might be the most important National Public Lands Day since NPLD was founded in 1994. This largest one-day volunteer event is the perfect showcase to demonstrate that you care enough about your public lands (be they federal, state, or your community park or greenway) to donate your time and energy to their care and beautification. 

Bookmark the DCNR Calendar of Events and the PPFF Calendar for up-the-minute details on where your volunteer hands can land.

Amusements Corner

Trivia - and Some Time in the Kitchen or By the Campfire

PPFF President Marci Mowery is a world-class campfire cook (and she does pretty well on a regular ol' stove, too). This delightful sweet potato one-pot is one of her go-to for the campsite.

Says Marci, "For much of the year, our home and camping menu is determined by what is in our CSA (or Community Supported Agriculture) share of produce. This time of year we have a cornucopia of options, and this is one of our camping standbys. We like to eat the leftovers the next day for breakfast topped with a friend egg and some toast made from Joe’s homemade bread.
  • Two sweet potatoes (I like to precook the sweet potatoes at home to reduce cooking time in camp), cut into bite sized pieces
  • Two Lancashire sausage links (or your favorite sausage), thinly sliced
  • A generous bunch of Swiss chard (or spinach or other in-season tasty green)
  • An onion, chopped
  • One garlic clove, minced
  • Olive oil 
  • Butter
  • Herbs, salt, and pepper
At Camp: In a cast iron skillet over the campfire, toss one chopped onion in with a bit of olive oil and butter. Slowly cook the onion for a few minutes. Add the sausage links and the sliced stems from the Swiss chard. Toss until sausage cooks. Add one minced garlic clove and the sweet potatoes. Cook a few minutes before adding the cut or torn leaves of the Swiss chard. I like to add a bit of herbs to taste, salt and pepper. Keep watch that your foods aren’t sticking, and if needed, add a bit more oil and butter. Yum!"

Congratulations to MidState Pete for having his answer drawn for the June trivia win. For this issue, because we will be featuring back roads as the third and final "b" of our print newsletter themes for 2017 (first bridges, then beaches), tell me what state park IS a back road.

Send your answer to Pam Metzger at the Foundation. All correct answers go into the hiking boot for a drawing for a "wearable checklist" to the state parks and forests - otherwise known as our bright orange bandana

2018 Now on Sale

Be Ready When It Gets Here

August is the first of the remaining four months of 2017 to be included in the 2018 Pennsylvania State Parks calendar. Your office wall is bare without a beautiful calendar to gaze upon. Let the beautiful photographs of some of your favorite parks (and perhaps a few you've yet to consider), inspire your next visit.

And if you tried to place an order for the Pennsylvania State Parks and State Forests Passport in the last week or two, you will have learned that they were sold out. But no more! The Passport is back in stock and waiting for your next adventure.

Get yours today from the
PPFF Online Store.
Copyright © 2017 | Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation | All rights reserved.

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation
1845 Market Street | Suite 202 | Camp Hill, PA 17011 | 717.236.7644

Thank you to our friends at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources for their assistance in the preparation of Explore.

The support of the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) of the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources is also gratefully acknowledged.



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