The rarely seen, impressively elusive miniature gray elephant of northern Georgia is not often talked about. Its numbers being rare, they are easily hidden in rhododendron leaves that this time of year are folded nearly in half from the cold dust of white.
With great jubilation our voices increased and we moved closer and closer wanting to photograph its elongated trunk. We edged nearer and nearer sneaking a feel of its furry coat and then offered some of the specially made Shemeah Nut Clusters.
Respect Wildlife – one principle of seven. This skit-like demonstration would lead to an exchange of thoughts and activity ideas that are sure to benefit differing audiences from young to old.
For two days three enthusiastic and invested ladies would listen, ask questions, share stories, discuss and teach a set of ideas that assist with protecting the wild lands we enjoy. One of our greatest discussions revolved around the continuum line of ethics. Individually we recognized that our outdoor recreation interest alters the land that we seek as sanctuary. And, as a group it was imperative to understand that how we evolve our thinking will evolve how we act and what we value.
As we sat at the table discussing the effect of bright colors Jules called home to check on the family. The conversation continued for a time as those of us remaining shot daggered looks around. The voice level increased in an attempt to speak over the displaced phone call. She hadn’t even made an attempt to move out of earshot or to hold her conversation during a break in the class. I was fuming but all the while trying to keep a smile on my face in the class I was still trying to teach. The impact was intentionally laid by an astute teacher of the topic Be Considerate of Other Visitors.
Warwoman Dell is a beautiful location for a class. A pavilion with picnic tables sits in the crosshairs of the Bartram Trail – a 138-mile footpath – and would be our basecamp for two days. The weather was generally uncooperative but the new Trainers never waned in their eagerness to learn and teach others through their personal experiences and examples. We began as a group who knew nothing about one another and left as a collection of personalities that can use one another for references and ideas that allow for teaching the principles of Leave No Trace not only easier, but more effective.
More knowledgeable and informed – Jules B, Shemeah R and Joan W are Trainers who can provide any Leave No Trace presentation that is one day or less. Leave No Trace is a program designed to assist outdoor enthusiasts with their decisions about how to reduce their impacts when participating in outdoor recreation. The program strives to educate all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts. Leave No Trace is best understood as an educational and ethical program, not as a set of rules and regulations.
What a great concept! What a great weekend!
The summary of LNT is copyrighted information that has been reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Visit http://www.lnt.org/ for additional information.