Conscious Party: Outdoor Adventure Demo Day

TRAILBLAZERS: Evergreen Community Charter School's mountain bike trails, climbing wall and high ropes course will be showcased during Outdoor Adventure Demo Day on Oct. 7. Parents are invited to participate in the open-air activities alongside their children as part of a fundraiser for the school's adventure programs. Photo by Jody Flemming

WHAT: An activity day to benefit Evergreen Community Charter School’s adventure programs

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m-6 p.m.

WHERE: Evergreen Community Charter School, 50 Bell Road

WHY: As its name suggests, Evergreen Community Charter School faculty strives to move students out of the confines of traditional, four-walls learning and into nature.

“All participants end up in neutral territory where if it rains, they all get wet; if it’s hot, they all sweat; if it’s uphill, they all have to go uphill,” says Evergreen adventure coordinator Doug White. “It really allows each individual to face their perceived limitations and then choose to move past those limitations, which can be uncomfortable and challenging and frustrating, but that’s also where the growth can happen, where the confidence can be built, where the true grit can come out.”

The school showcases its adventure programs to the public with a day full of hands-on activities across its climbing wall, high-ropes course and mountain bike trails on Saturday, Oct. 7. Sessions last between an hour and a half (Team Building Initiatives; Wilderness Crafts + Skills) and three hours (Challenge + Ropes Course). They are designed for different ability levels with an emphasis on parents participating alongside their children, during which adults may witness the programs’ myriad benefits firsthand and echo the sentiments of Molly Pritchard, whose two sons attend Evergreen.

“We have seen them overcome fears while being supported by their peers and the adults in charge,” she says. “They are more apt to try things outside of their comfort zone. I’m so happy for them to have these outdoor adventure opportunities to balance out their competitive sports and love of electronics. There’s plenty of research out there linking outdoor education and exploration with increased academic success, too.”

The Demo Day serves as a benefit to help grow and sustain Evergreen’s adventure programs and its after-school program, EverAfter, which is open to the greater Asheville community. Funds raised will go toward scholarships for kids who cannot afford to pay for after-school Adventure Clubs and help pay for high-quality safety gear and support staffing. Also receiving a boost are future adventure trips for ropes-course students to the Warren Wilson Alpine Tower or a North Carolina Outward Bound course; mountain biking clubs to DuPont State Park and Shope Creek; and off-site climbing trips to places like Looking Glass and Table Rock.

Outdoor Adventure Demo Day takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Evergreen Community Charter School. $7-9 per activity session. Participants are strongly encouraged to register in advance online.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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