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OUTDOOR ADVENTURE DAY

Outdoor Adventure Day is a family-friendly, free event with hands-on activities and demonstrations appropriate for all ages focused on 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 and McEwen Library; Fort Drum's Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department and Game Warden Section; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Mineral Resources; the Sci-Tech Museum of Northern New York in Watertown; Thousand Islands Land Trust in Clayton; and Project Healing Waters

When?

Outdoor Adventure Day will take place on Saturday, August 23, 2014 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.

Where?

Outdoor Adventure Day will take place in and around Building S-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.

Who?

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, the Carthage American Legion Post 789 will have hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken barbeque available to purchase. Families may also bring their own food and picnicking is allowed on the grounds. There is a water fountain available in Bldg. S-2509, but please 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.) 

What?

In 2013, there were 14 different stations set up in and around Buildings S-2507 and S-2509 where people could meander and spend as much (or as little) time as they desire. In 2014, there will be 23 different stations. Some of the stations will include: 

1. 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.
 
2. Trees & Forest Management. See equipment used by Fort Drum's Forest Management Program as well as chainsaw demonstrations throughout the day. Learn about trees and forest products.
3.  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.

A Nerf gun range will also be available for the younger crowd.
4. 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.
   
5. Wildland Fire Management and Fire Prevention. The Fort Drum Fire Department will be on scene with their wildland fire equipment, show how to put out a fire, and talk about fire safety.
6. 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
7.  Weather. Learn about weather and weather forecasting. Make your own home weather station.
8. 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.
 
9.  Outdoor Cooking & Camping. 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.
 

10. Native Arts. Try your hand at flint-knapping or basket weaving. Materials will be provided.
11. Orienteering. Learn about orienteering (using compasses and maps) and GPS (Global Positioning Systems). Use a GPS unit to find your way to a geocache!

12. 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!
13. 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.
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 during the day.   
 
15. Gardening. Meet Master Gardeners and learn about pollinators and pests in your garden. Check out a real pollinator garden and bee house!

16. Wildlife Calls & Tracks. Whether a hunter, photographer, biologist, or wildlife viewer, learn how to call animals to you. Sound like a duck, goose, turkey, deer, or other animal. Be a nature detective and see various animal sign.
 
17. Fish & Wildlife Management. Check out various trapping and marking techniques used by biologists and wildlife managers to study fish and wildlife. Check out some of the current fish and wildlife projects occurring on Fort Drum. Get trapped in a bear trap!
 
18.  Wildlife Viewing & Photography. Meet two local experts and learn all about insects right in your own backyard!

19. 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. 
20.  Paleontology. Learn about fossils with Jefferson Community College and make a sedimentary rock. 

21.  Rivers & Wetlands. Learn about the importance of rivers and wetlands with local stewards from the Thousand Islands Land Trust in Clayton, NY. 

22. 
Bicycling. Fort Drum's Law Enforcement Bike Patrol will be on scene. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson Co. "smoothie bike" may make its debut.

 
23.  Net Zero/Sustainability. 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.

Besides the established stations, there will also be a tent with arts-and-craft activities and a place to sit and read quietly in Bldg. S-2507. 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!)