Oh, the weather outside is… weather!
That feeling when you and your group are supposed to go hike to a waterfall… but there’s the threat of a winter storm big enough to make getting there potentially unsafe. Cancelling would mean participants go two months without seeing each other, without discovering some new way to get outside, and that all the small details and preparation that goes into getting everyone together go unused.
Luckily for the OAC – the can-do leaders are quick with a back-up plan and there are plenty of awesome places to get out for a hike right here in Roanoke – places like Read Mountain!
Read Mountain is in Roanoke County, just 15 minutes from downtown, and features a great overlook at the summit. 2 Miles up and back on a cold day is perfect for getting outside!
Little, Diamond, checking out the one waterfall they got to see – a frozen waterfall!
After a snack-break at the summit, and a group photo, the group started down the mountain – when it started to snow.
thanks to the folks who made it possible for adventurers to stay warm and active in the elements:
- The Keen Effect
- North Face
- And those folks who supplied us with gear from their personal collections!
“I mean, like, it was pretty – but,like- magical too…” says McKayla. She likes hiking, and like many in the group is growing more excited about going on the camping trip at the end of the program.
“I feel like it could – like- have a lot of benefits for me and my Big sister.”
The OAC ended their journey through the Read Mountain winter wonderland appropriately: with hot soup and hot cocoa! It just goes to show that great adventures can be made from less-than-ideal conditions, and there’s no shortage of back-up plans to getting outside.
Check back to see what winter adventures the OAC gets into next!
Follow along on the Outdoor Adventure Club Blog as we post an update following each outing.
To catch more of the action, follow PLAY Roanoke on Instagram and keep an eye out for our monthly story takeovers.
To participate in the conversation surrounding the OAC and outdoor mentorship in our community, join the Friends of the Roanoke Outdoor Adventure Club Facebook group!
For those hearing about the OAC for the first time, here’s a brief timeline of the how it came to be:
- In 2017, Roanoke Outside in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) created the Outdoor Explorers Program for underserved youth aged 8-10. The program pairs together each youth (referred to as a Little) with a Big Brother or Sister (referred to as a Big). It has been an awesome success and the OAC became the next logical step for serving youth aged 11-13.
- Then, Roanoke Parks and Recreation joined the partnership, and combined efforts to win grants for the program from Keen and The North Face ($5,000 and $8,000, respectively.)
- On September 28 of this year, members of the OAC met for the first time in the Market Square for a free screening of An American Ascent, a film about the first All-African American team to hike Denali, North America’s tallest peak. That night, they also met and ate dinner with Scott Briscoe, one of the mountaineers in the film. Fittingly, Mr. Briscoe was also a Little with BBBS in his youth.
By providing 12 months of outdoor adventures, one-on-one mentorship and support, as well as transportation, instruction, and proper gear, the OAC is eliminating all barriers to the outdoors for underrepresented youth in Roanoke.