Since 2014, Adventure Walkers has been taking kids into the wild all over the Richmond area. Jim McCullough, founder and leader of our expeditions, is an experienced early childhood educator as well as an avid outdoorsman. Adventure walkers is a fun way for your children to be social, to explore our natural world and to play!
We offer single-day walks, or week-long adventures (roughly 3-5 hours/day). Our target age range is K-5, with some preschool offerings. We also offer a middle school aged "jr. counselor-AT-training" program, the jCATs! And High School students have the opportunity to volunteer for service hours (ask your school to include Adventure Walkers on their volunteer list).
All walks are fully staffed. Preschool walks have a 5:1 child to staff ratio.
"One of our favorite moments of the day was when all the kids gathered around the fire and Jim told a story that his grandfather used to tell him when he was a child. Kids as young as five and six shushed each other to hear it, and it was the perfect complement to the campfire and the cups of hot chocolate that Adventure Walkers provided.”
aka FiddleSticks are magical and intuitively understand Adventure Walking (they will remind you that they need no help). And since they are light as air, they get the occasional carry.
aka Adventure Walkers have their feet on the ground but walk with their all of their 7 senses (vision, olfaction, gustation, audition, somatosensory, vestibular, and proprioception) to see, smell, taste (occasionally), hear, touch, perceive movement, and sense our bodies in nature to discover where nature will lead them. And also so they won't step on a shark! Their imaginations are fully engaged, they love playing and exploring and hearing and telling a good story.
These "jr Counselors At Training" aka jCaTs are rising 6th, 7th and 8th graders. They are shape shifters who, and this will surprise parents, seem to do no wrong. We try to let their mistakes roll like water off our backs. Plus, the kids love them cause they are rock stars of play and are up for any adventure. And they carry our supplies. Like any cat, they get to hang out and chill...often on rocks...or in a creek...or up a tree...
Rising 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders are jr. Counselors who are mentored in the ways of Adventure Walking and given as much responsibility as they want. They are included in planning discussions and are expected to reflect on the days and weeks events. And they still get the joy of being wet and muddy with the kids.