Family Nature Summits in full swing

Ghost Ranch
Ghost Ranch

It didn’t take long for Family Nature Summits (FNS) to get into full swing. I’ve written a lot about FNS. Yet so many active families tell me that they’ve never heard about it.

This one-week camp is for adults, children and everyone in between who wants to visit new areas every year. Adults come by themselves because it is an inexpensive, active, safe way to see the country. Lodging and activities are all planned. We stay in resorts, “YMCA”, ranches. You have the option to camp in most places but most people don’t rough it.

Families come because children have their own activities from 8 am to 3:30 pm. Parents can choose from a cornucopia of of activities from hiking and flower studies to painting and kayaking.

The 2016 FNS was at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. This former dude ranch has a fascinating history. If you’ve heard of it, it’s because Georgia O’Keeffe spent the last few decades here, painting and drawing inspiration from the landscape.

She painted Pedernal, the flat-topped mountain, which was her favorite subject. See the top picture. With so much hiking offered, I didn’t get the chance to climb this top.

Isa at FNS
Isa at FNS

Ghost Ranch also has a historic connection with Asheville. George Willis Pack was a timberman and Asheville philanthropist.

His grandson, Arthur, no longer in the family business, bought Ghost Ranch in 1935 and donated it to the Presbyterian Church twenty years later.

Yes, I hiked most days. Isa, the six-year old, hiked, painted, sang and waded in the river with her group. She even went on an assisted horseback ride.

Hannah, now in the teen group, camped, hiked, boated and went on a proper horseback ride. After all, Ghost Ranch is a ranch.

I don’t have photos of Hannah with her group, since the Teen group wasn’t spending much time with their family.

Hannah at the dance
Hannah at the dance

After dinner, we went to the evening program together. We listened to a Native American singer and story teller, learned about geology of the area and square danced. Nothing beats a dance, which is scheduled every year.

The next post will be a little about the hiking in the area.



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