Welcome to Life as a Muddy Sneaker!
- Why is it called Muddy Sneakers and/or will my shoes actually get muddy?
- How many learning expeditions will we do over the course of the year?
- How long will we be gone and what will we be doing?
- Will Muddy Sneakers give us everything we need for the learning expedition?
- A list of the other things you will need, and won’t need, on a Muddy Sneakers learning expedition
To start with, you don’t have to have muddy sneakers to be a ‘Muddy Sneaker’ but there is at least a chance that the shoes you’re wearing may get wet, squishy and/or muddy. Why? Because soon enough you’ll be off on an outdoor learning expeditions with your classmates in the middle of:
- Rocks and boulders
- Springs and creeks
- Rushing water and waterfalls
- Hills and banks
- Forest paths
- Birds and animals
- Plants and flowers
- You get the idea…
[back to top]How many learning expeditions will we do over the course of the year?
Each school will participate in 6-10 learning expeditions throughout the year, ideally 3-5 in the fall (September-November) and then 3-5 in the spring (February-April).
[back to top]How long will we be gone and what will we be doing?
Each Muddy Sneakers learning expedition takes place during a regular school day. You will go to school like normal but instead of heading into the classroom to spend the day at your desk, you will either:
- Get on a school bus to come meet the Muddy Sneakers instructors at one of our many cool field locations (DuPont State Recreational Forest, Gorges State Park, NC National Forests, etc.), OR
- Meet us in your schoolyard for a day of exploring your own backyard and learning about things you may never have known existed!
Either way, you’ll be outside for most of the day learning your science curriculum, meeting lots of new creatures, discovering how nature works and using creative tools like writing, math and imagination to better understand and reflect upon our amazing natural world!
[back to top]Will Muddy Sneakers give us everything we need for the learning expedition?
Muddy Sneakers does provide each pair of students with a backpack to share (containing a compass, magnifying glass, sitting pads, maps, and other supplies relevant to the topic being studied that day). The packs we provide are only the size of a standard backpack which means one student in each pair (to be assigned by teachers in advance) will need to bring an empty backpack to help carry what will not fit in the Muddy Sneakers pack.
[back to top]A list of the other things you will need, and won’t need, on a Muddy Sneakers learning expedition:
What should I bring?
All students need to come prepared for the conditions. Wearing appropriate clothes is the most important thing you can do to prepare yourself for a fun day in the woods. Look at the weather report the night before and remember that it’s always better to be too warm than too cold when you’re preparing to be outside for the day! Think about wearing clothes that dry quickly (not cotton) and always plan on wearing/bringing ‘layers’ with you in case you get too hot/cold.
Everyone must bring his or her own lunch on Muddy Sneakers expedition days (including schoolyard expeditions). We ask that you try and limit the amount of packaging since you’ll have to carry out your own garbage with you – remember that we practice ‘Leave No Trace’.
Two regular size bottles of water
We recommend buying 1-2 good water bottles at the beginning of the year and reusing them for each expedition.
A rain poncho or waterproof rain jacket
A warm jacket/sweatshirt
No matter the weather, be prepared for quick changes in temperature and remember that rainfall in the mountains is always a possibility.
Comfortable walking shoes
It is VERY important to wear appropriate shoes for walking all day in the woods. Hiking boots and of course sneakers work great but we ask that no students wear flip-flops or sandals.
A “Field Journal Kit”
This kit should consist of a small notebook and pen or pencil in a zip lock baggie. The Field Kit needs to come into the field each time you go on a Muddy Sneakers learning expedition.
A positive attitude
Please come with a smile and an eagerness to be outdoors all day!
What should I not bring?
Cell phone, iPods, or anything electronic
Dogs or other pets
*Please only bring what’s on the list of things to bring; carrying extra stuff throughout the day will make your pack heavier