Graduation Day: Away from the XBox and out into the giant sandbox. Photo: Catherine Dold
When Boulder resident and environmental writer Catherine Dold’s nieces came to visit in 2008, she thought it would be fun to teach the inexperienced flatlanders some hiking tips—including trail etiquette, leave no trace fundamentals and animal safety precautions—before heading up to Rocky Mountain National Park with the girls for the day. She even printed them certificates, and the idea for the Certified Good Hiker Kit was born.
Last year, Dold launched goodhiker.com as a simple, fast and fun way to teach kids the basics of hiking and trail manners. Adults can download the Certified Good Hiker Kit (in PDF format) from the site for $5. The kit includes a fill-in-the-blanks “class” that introduces kids to the basic guidelines of hiking: what to bring on a hike, why it’s important to stay with your group and why you shouldn’t try to feed those cute furry animals. It also includes a guide for grown-ups who are leading the activity. Best of all are the downloadable certificates that declare each kid a Certified Good Hiker.