Each month we showcase adventures from last month, preview adventures for next month, and sneak peak adventures from this month

January Adventure Recap: Rock Climbing and Indoor Recreation

Winter arrived just in time for OACGC’s only indoor adventure of the year.  Over four weekends, bus loads of students enjoyed the amazing facilities of the University of Cincinnati’s Rec Center, including their 40’ rock climbing wall.  Morning activities also included basketball, dodgeball, and Zumba.  After lunch some students took to the pool to enjoy the lazy river, while others centered their minds and bodies with a yoga session.  The afternoon concluded with the traditional staff vs. student volleyball game.

2017-01-13T02:59:04+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|

January Adventure: Rock Climbing

Outdoor Adventure Clubs heads indoors for our January adventure at the University of Cincinnati’s Recreation Center. Students will have the opportunity to explore the Center’s basketball and volleyball courts and indoor track.

Most importantly, adventurers will have access to the climbing wall which offers two, 28’ and two, 40’ belay bars as well as a bouldering wall. After a morning of climbing, students can unwind in the leisure pool or relax with a calming yoga session.

Every January adventure concludes with a staff vs. student volleyball game. Will this be the year the students are finally victorious? Or will the staff continue their championship reign?

2017-01-13T02:59:04+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|

December Adventure Recap: Ice Skating

While the temperature suggested a different season, winter holiday cheer abounded during our December ice skating adventure.  OACGC reached its third record of the school year as 268 students from Cincinnati Public, Bellevue, Dayton, and Newport Schools took to Fountain Square to enjoy the last adventure of the year.  Students enjoyed hot chocolate between skates and Potbelly’s and Chipotle for lunch.

Potbelly’s generously offered meals at a reduced price, while Chipotle donated 50 meals to OACGC each weekend.  OACGC extends its thanks to our lunch partners for keeping our skaters well fed and energized throughout the day.

2017-01-13T02:59:04+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|

Lunch and Learn Program

During their October biking trips on the Little Miami Bike Trail, OAC students also learned about our regional trail network and the health and the environmental benefits of hiking and biking instead of driving. Their “Lunch & Learn” focused on the history of the Little Miami Bike Trail as part of the national “rails-to-trails” movement. Students were shown maps indicating existing and planned trails for the Greater Cincinnati area, as well as connectors to regional trails leading to other major cities in the tri-state area. Each participant also received a Metro Green Bus Route map that showed all city and county parks plus the specific bus routes to get to each of those wonderful outdoor venues.

In addition to learning about local and regional trails, students were also given a tutorial on basic bike maintenance, including hands-on experience patching bicycle tires and realigning bike chains to sprockets. These skills proved useful during the afternoon portion of the bike ride.

December Ice Skating

As temperatures turn colder and the year comes to an end, Outdoor Adventure Clubs prepares for the final adventure of 2015, ice skating on Fountain Square.  For two weekends in December our students will take to the ice, many for the first time, to enjoy what has become a tradition for families in the Cincinnati area.  Students will enjoy lunch on the Square and hot chocolate in between skates.  There’s no better way to welcome the holiday season!

2017-01-13T02:59:05+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|

Feet on the Trail, Eyes on the Sky

Outdoor Adventure Clubs returned to the Cincinnati Nature Center in November for our yearly hiking adventure.  As always, the Nature Center provided our students the opportunity to discover beautifully preserved trails, creeks, and fields.  This year, however, adventurers’ eyes turned from the trails to the tree tops as we explored birding for the first time.  Students were equipped with binoculars and birding books to assist their efforts in spotting and identifying the Nature Center’s feathered friends.

Thanks to Heather Spanbauer and her ornithologist friends, student hikers were also accompanied by birding experts to help guide and inform their findings.  As Outdoor Adventure Clubs continues to grow, we greatly appreciate the efforts of partners, like Heather, who help diversify our activities to engage students with new outdoor recreational activities.

2017-01-13T02:59:05+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|

Special Report: Students Learn Aquatic Science

OACGC Students Knee Deep in Aquatic Science
Written by: Bethany Hellmann, OACGC Education Specialist

For years, the Outdoor Adventure Club of Greater Cincinnati (OACGC) has provided a safe place for students to have fun, explore and connect with nature. This year, OACGC initiated a new educational component to its outdoor programming, entitled Lunch & Learn. After their morning outdoor activity, students learn about a topic related to the day’s activity.

For instance, on kayaking trips, OACGC Education Specialist, Bethany Hellmann, teaches students about the importance of water quality monitoring through an interactive presentation along the Little Miami Riverbank. She then leads a field study in and about the river. Students from Greater Cincinnati Area schools enjoy getting their feet wet (literally) on the subject of water quality. Students learn to use a Secchi disk, which determines the river’s turbidity/cloudiness, capture several temperature readings upstream, midstream and downstream, and use pH strips to assess the acidity of the water. Students also collect live river organisms called aquatic macroinvertebrates. Students use nets (and sometimes their bare hands!) to catch dozens of healthy, red crawfish, enormous freshwater clams, damselfly nymphs and water pennies. Students use Identification sheets to classify each captured organism. All aquatic macroinvertebrates are humanely released back into the Little Miami River.

During the recent kayaking adventures in September, the students concluded from their water quality monitoring and scientific observations that the Little Miami River falls within the ideal pH range for river water of 6.5 to 8.5, and has reasonably low turbidity/cloudiness. Collection of pollution intolerant aquatic macroinvertebrates also indicates low levels of pollution. Overall, the Little Miami River appears to support a healthy ecosystem!

It was great to see students demonstrate their leadership abilities, teamwork and scientific observation skills in these water monitoring activities. Indeed, we have found many budding environmental scientists in our midst!

Monthly Adventures: November Hiking

Our November hiking adventure could not come at a better time as the trees begin to display beautiful autumn foliage.  Outdoor Adventure Clubs will be heading to the Cincinnati Nature Center for three weekends in November to explore the award-winning trails of this preserved space.

With over 16 miles of trails, the Cincinnati Nature Center provides adventurers will the opportunity escape from the buzz of the city and immerse themselves in the calming and renewing spirit of the outdoors.  In addition to a five mile hike, students will learn how to pack the essentials for day hiking and backpacking during our “Lunch and Learn” session.

Oh, and don’t forget the s’mores we will be cooking over our campfire–the perfect addition to a fall hike!

2017-01-13T02:59:06+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|

Monthly Adventures: October Biking

Outdoor Adventure Clubs keeps setting records!  During October, our biking month, we reached a record high of 87 cyclists for one adventure.  Coined our “40 Mile Bike Trip”, adventures in October allowed students the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Little Miami Bike Trail.

We departed from Loveland and offered cyclists the opportunity to travel as far as 10 miles down trail before returning to Loveland for our “Lunch and Learn” session.  After lunch, we were back on the bikes to head up trail, again for as many as 10 miles.  Our more active adventurers truly gave our lead staff members a workout on the trail as they pushed towards the 40-mile goal!

More leisurely pedalers enjoyed the serenity of the trail, which was originally a railroad that was transformed as part of the rails-to-trails movement.  Regardless on the miles covered, students and advisors had an active and engaging ride on one of our well-protected, local treasures.

2017-01-13T02:59:06+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|

Monthly Adventures: Kayaking (Sep 2015)

The 2015-16 school year started off with a splash as we reached a new record for a single kayaking adventure: 102 paddlers!

If you happened upon the Little Miami River in early September you might have heard  the thunderous sound of 102 paddlers splashing their way down stream as we embarked on our 1st adventure of the 2015-16 school year.  Kayaking is always a favorite among students and staff alike.  The thrill of being on the water is something that we think everyone should get the chance to enjoy.

Although 102 paddlers may seem like a chaotic frenzy of kayaks and kids (and a new single adventure record for OAC), the beauty and serenity of nature was undeniable.  While our young adventurers enjoyed their time on the water, they also spent time learning important lessons about good stewardship and the importance of taking care of our natural resources.

With numbers like that, we’re well on our way to reaching our goal of 10,000 Adventures for 10,000 Kids (#10A410K).  If you like to kayak and would like to see more kids getting out into nature, please support Outdoor Adventure Clubs.  Your tax deductible donation will help fund a full range of activities, adventures, and experiences for students throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

2017-01-13T02:59:06+00:00 Categories: Director's Blog, Monthly Adventures|