Monday, July 25, 2011

Friends of Philpott Gear Swap

Saturday, August 13 · 9:00am - 4:00pm

Smith River Sports Complex - Smith River Fest
1000 Irisburg Road
Axton, Virginia

At the main festival grounds. Earn some extra cash! Bring your unwanted, gently used recreational gear and accessories so they can find a new home at the gear swap hosted by Friends of Philpott Lake.

A 10% commission fee from each sale will benefit the development of Bowens Creek Park, a fully handicap accessible recreation facility.

For those that are not able to attend. Friends of Philpott will make arrangements to pick-up/drop off items you want to sale at the Gear Swap and settle afterwards.
Contact: Linda Drage, Complete Handicap Wellness Park @ Bowens Creek: Chairperson or call 276-681-6805.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Explorer's Club

A group of eight local students had no idea what was in store for them as they scampered their way down rocks and through a hidden passage to a beautiful, majestic waterfall nestled right in the heart of Kibler Valley!
Thanks to an exciting new program, known as the Explorer’s Club, developed by the Dan River Basin Association, a select group of students became the first participants in this new adventure to experience and learn about everything from kayaking and canoeing to map and compass orientation and even wilderness survival skills.  The students ranged in age from 10 to 13 and all were from the Martinsville-Henry County area.  They were brought together through a selection process which involved filling out an extensive application providing summaries of their backgrounds and brief narrations of why they would like to be a part of the program.  They spent eight days together acquiring new skills and experiences in the outdoors. 
The young explorers met almost every day for two weeks and learned about topics such as how to survive in the outdoors, how to explore without leaving a trace, and how to identify certain plants like trees and wild flowers.  They were encouraged to push their comfort zones and explore beyond their usual boundaries while learning how to kayak and canoe and take wilderness hikes.  The group was lead by Smith River Adventure Outfitters, Eric Judday and botany enthusiast, Chad Lange.  Each day the group was also accompanied by a DRBA staff member or DRBA volunteer.

When the group first came together, the young explorers were anxious to get started but also a little shy about being around people they had never met before.  After a few days, the kids were no longer strangers; they had broken out of their shells and became a tight group that could depend on one another.   Each child showed how adventurous and courageous they really were when it came time to try something new.  On one hike, a northern water snake was discovered and each explorer got a chance to touch or hold the snake.  On another day, Wayne Kirkpatrick, DRBA President introduced the group to all kinds of aquatic life and all the explorers were brave enough to try their hand at holding a crayfish that was found hiding in the river.  Lisa Hall, DRBA volunteer also spent some time teaching the techniques of fly fishing to the explorers on the beautiful Smith River.
When it was time for all the fun to be over, it was no doubt that this group of young, courageous explorers would go back to their daily lives with a new kind of self assurance and courage.  Hopefully, one day when passing a local stream or river, a glimpse of something they learned or experienced will make them smile and they will share it with their friends and family so they too can want to be a part of enjoying the outdoors.  All of this was made possible through sponsorship of the Dan River Basin Association and funding from the Harvest Foundation.