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Outdoor Adventure Day is a family-friendly, free event with hands-on activities and demonstrations appropriate for all ages focused on outdoor recreation and the outdoors. The event is open to families on Fort Drum as well as the North Country community. 

This event is being coordinated by Fort Drum's Natural Resources Branch (Directorate of Public Works) and the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County. Other cooperators include Fort Drum's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) Parks & Recreation Program; Fort Drum's Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department and Game Warden Section; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Mineral ResourcesNew York State 4-H Shooting Sports Program; the Sci-Tech Museum of Northern New York in Watertown; Jefferson Community College in Watertown; the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center in Cortland; SUNY-ESF Woodsmen's Team in Syracuse; Thousand Islands Land Trust in Clayton; and the Fort Drum Chapter of Project Healing Waters


The 4th Annual Outdoor Adventure Day will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The event will take place rain-or-shine. As the name implies, it will be outdoors, so please dress appropriately and bring sun screen, water, etc.


Outdoor Adventure Day will take place in and around Building S-2507/2509 on Fort Drum. This is outside the fenceline and there is no requirement to pass through the security gates. Parking will be behind Buildings S-2507/2509 off of Munn's Corner Road.

Directions from Interstate 81: take Exit 48A to Interstate I-781. Go 4.0 miles to Exit 4 (the only exit) before the Fort Drum Main Gate. At the stoplights at the bottom of the ramp, turn left onto US 11 North and go approximately 3.0 miles to NY Rte. 26 (at Evans Mills). Turn right on NY Rte. 26 and go approximately 5.0 miles (past the stoplights going to Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield) and turn left into the driveway ("Natural Resources Permits" is on a green sign). Parking is in the grassy field behind the building (adjacent to Munn’s Corners Road)—follow the signs.

Directions from NYS Rte. 3: In Great Bend at the junction of NYS Rte. 3 and NYS Rte. 26., go west on NYS Rte. 26 approximately 0.3 miles over the Black River. Turn right into the driveway ("Natural Resources Permits" is on a green sign). Parking is in the grassy field behind the building (adjacent to Munn’s Corners Road)—follow the signs.


The event is open to EVERYONE whether living on Fort Drum or not. Adults of all ages as well as children from 2 to 18 will find interesting things to see and do.

Because this is an all-day event, Family Readiness Groups will have food available to purchase. If you are an FRG representative and want to sell food, contact Jason Wagner at 772-5971.

Families may also bring their own food and picnicking is allowed on the grounds. There are drinking fountains available in Bldg. S-2507 and S-2509 and water stations will be available around the grounds, but please also bring water and stay hydrated. 

Restrooms and hand-washing stations are available.

This is a family-friendly event. No profanity, alcohol or smoking. (If you must smoke, please smoke in the parking lot area.) 


In 2016, there will be approximately 30 stations set up around the grounds of Buildings S-2507/2509. People can meander and spend as much (or as little) time as they desire. Some stations have scheduled demonstrations; some will have demonstrations or activities running throughout the day. Some of the stations will include: 

1. Trees & Forest Management. Learn about trees and forest products. See equipment used by Fort Drum's Forest Management Program. Chainsaw safety and tree falling demonstrations at 10:10, 11:10, 12:10, 1:10, 2:10, and 3:10.
2. SUNY-ESF Woodsmen's Team. See the Woodsmen's Team from the State University of New York - College of Environmental Science & Forestry demonstrate some of their sport events with saws and axes during scheduled times: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30


3. Wildland Fire Management and Fire Prevention. The Fort Drum Fire Department will be on scene with their wildland fire equipment. Try on equipment or spray water from a fire hose!
4. Air Pistol Shooting. Learn to safely fire an air pistol under the guidance of 4-H Shooting Sports certified instructors. Participants must be at least 10 years of age to shoot. A Hold Harmless Agreement must be signed before participating.
5. Archery. Learn to use a bow and arrow under the guidance of  4-H Shooting Sports certified instructors. Participants must be at least 10 years of age to shoot. A Hold Harmless Agreement must be signed before participating. 
6. Nerf Archery Range. Not to leave anyone out, anyone 9 years of age or younger can shoot Nerf archery at a new range being constructed this year.
7. Nerf Gun Range. Anyone 9 years of age or younger can still shoot Nerf guns also at a new range being constructed this year.
8. Conservation Law Enforcement. Meet Fort Drum's Game Wardens and see some of the equipment they use including snowmobiles, boats, ATVs, and a robotic deer. Try to save a "drowning victim" by throwing a life ring.
9. Fishing. Meet local fishing expert Don Meissner. Try your hand at casting different rods and test your casting accuracy. Test the action of different lures--or test whether they sink or float--in a large aquarium. Play with live bait--nightcrawlers and minnows will be available. Learn to tie a fly and fly fishing techniques with Project Healing Waters
10. Accessible Recreation.  Accessibility is important to all of us now or will be at some point in our lives--either young, old, or injured. Check out resources available from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center in Cortland; and outdoorsmen Rich Fabend and Andy Dahmen. 
11. Rocks & Minerals. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Mineral Resources will be on-hand to show rocks and minerals in the area. Learn about mineral resources in your everyday life. Remember--everything we use is either grown or mined. 
NEW IN 2016: Find your own Herkimer diamond from rock provided by Ace of Diamonds Mine & Campground--just 1.5 hours away in Herkimer County.
12. Aquatic Critters. Go sampling for aquatic critters with Fort Drum's "Stream Team" and learn what about lurks in the waters of Fort Drum.
13. Net Zero/Recycling. No matter who you are, we all should be aware of our impact on the environment. See examples of composters and recycled products. Plant a seed in composted soil! All garbage during the event will be composted, recycled, or otherwise disposed of at this station. Click on the links to learn more about recycling and composting on Fort Drum or Jefferson County.
14. Trapping & Skinning. See animal skins and the different traps, lures, and scents used by trappers. There will be live demonstrations how to skin an animal at 11:00, 12:30, 2:00, and 3:30. 

15. Wildlife Viewing & Photography. Meet Fort Drum's ornithologist to learn about birds; and two local dragonfly experts and learn all about insects right in your own backyard! 

16. Fish & Widllife Management. Check out various trapping and marking techniques used by biologists and wildlife managers to study fish and wildlife. Get trapped in a bear trap! Talk to Martin Feehan, Cornell graduate student, about the deer project in the Cantonment Area and see various ways he catches deer on Fort Drum. Watch Martin fire the capture gun at 1:00 and 3:00. 
17. Blowing Bubbles. Maybe not a traditional outdoor recreational activity, but still fun for all ages! Watertown's Sci-Tech Museum of Northern New York will be teaching about the physics of bubbles and have lots of opportunities to blow your own bubbles including surrounding yourself in a huge bubble!
18. Geocaching. Learn about GPS (Global Positioning Systems) units and go on a modern-day treasure hunt. Use a GPS unit to find your way to a geocache and get a prize!
19. Weather. Learn about weather and the power of the wind. Make your own home weather station or see how the US Air Force does it.
20. Climbing Wall. Strap on a harness and see if you can reach the top! Participants must weigh at least 45 pounds but not more than 250 pounds. A scale will be on site. A Hold Harmless Agreement must be signed before participating. The climbing wall is provided by Adventure Training at Fort Drum's Directorate of Families and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR).
21.  Outdoor Cooking & Fitness. Try your hand at camp fire designs, using other biofuels while camping, and outdoor cooking. Taste some dutch oven recipes including one for
Lazy Cobbler. Make trail mix and learn about nutrition. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson Co. will also have its "smoothie bike" to make a smoothie with pedal power!

22. Water Resources & St. Lawrence River. Learn about the importance of rivers and wetlands from local stewards with the Thousand Islands Land Trust in Clayton, NY. 
23. Entomology. Meet some Master Gardeners and learn about insects. Check out a real pollinator garden and bee house. Use a net that is provided and catch some insects and identify what you caught!

24. Camping & Knot-Tying. Try your hand at knot-tying and campfire building with Cub Scout Pack 26, Girl Scout Troop 50125, and Boy Scout Troop 26
25. Native Arts. Fort Drum's Cultural Resources Program will be on-hand to show some of the artifacts found on Fort Drum as well as provide the opportunity to make jewelry from beads and natural materials; sculpt figures from clay; or, try your hand at flint-knapping. Materials will be provided.
26. Outdoor Health: Rabies & Lyme Disease. Jefferson County Public Health Service will be providing education about vector born diseases and rabies.  Learn the life cycle of mosquitoes and ticks and how to avoid them.  Get your free DEET wipe by stopping by this booth.
27. Working Dog Demo: MP Dogs.  After a short visit last year, the Military Police Working Dogs will be at Outdoor Adventure Day in 2016. Military Working Dog Handlers put the dogs through their paces. Military members may suit up and see what it's like to be on the other end of the demonstration!
28. BOSS Adventure Course. New in 2016 is an outdoor adventure obstacle course established by BOSS (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers). You must be at least 15 years or older to participate. 
29. Paleontology. Learn about fossils with Jefferson Community College and make a sedimentary rock or fossil print.  
30. Working Dog Demo: Barn Hunt. Watch dogs go through their paces searching for vermin in a "barn"--safe for dog and rat, this is an example of what some dogs did routinely to help humans protect their food and livestock.

31. Fish & Wildlife.
Live animals will be on display in Bldg. S-2509. Get close up and personal with live frogs, fish, snakes, and turtles. Taxidermist mounts and other displays can be viewed.
Besides the established stations, there will also be a tent with arts-and-craft activities including making fish prints and decorating walking sticks.

Information about tourism and activities in the area will be provided by the Lewis County Chamber of CommerceOswego County Promotion & Tourism, and the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council
Smokey Bear will be strolling the grounds throughout the event--how often he'll be seen will depend on how hot it is that day. (Bears get hot under all that fur!)