Celebrating Birthdays in the Wilds of Florida

October, 2011

October sure has been a month for birthdays at Not a Clue Adventures! We have had many different types of birthday celebrations this month.

We started celebrations with an overnight campout/fishing trip for a wonderful group of 11/12 year old boys. Some of these youngsters had camped before but others had not. The” birthday boy” chose to invite his friends out on a camping trip his mom organized with me. In addition he invited his dad and grandpa to come along.  It was wonderful having the grandpa along as he was a very experienced outdoorsman who totally enjoyed entertaining the boys while I prepared meals. We had rain the whole trip – not just a sprinkle but a down pour! No problem with the weather for this group they got to just be boys they fished, played soccer/football and hiked in the rain!

Experiencing the Hillsborough River

When they came back to camp they sure had one heck of an appetite to! It was great seeing them having the opportunity just to be friends and play and not be hampered by parents that said keep dry or stay clean. These kids had a blast and slept well! I hope to see them again soon!

Our next birthday trip was a 2 day 14 mile overnight hike out at Myakka River State Parknear Sarasota Florida. Everyone had to pack in and pack out all they needed for this trip. I had a dad, the birthday boy and his best friend (who had never hiked before) along for the trip. A couple days before it had rained cats and dogs (as per above) so we knew the trail would be wet. The boys were running a bit late and we started out about an hour later than we had planned – making us have to hike a bit harder to reach camp before dark.

Starting out on the trail

We were able to show the boys so many different things along the way. We taught them about Saw Palmetto and Smilax, we followed tracks of coyotes, fox, turtles, raccoons and many other critters. We pointed out the changes in the environments and what different plants and animals would be found in each.

Checking out the local mushrooms

On the wet parts of the trail they found numerous frogs and insects they had a blast checking out! We got to camp just barely before dark, the boys gathered wood while we set up camp and soon it was time for a lesson in primitive fire making. Once we had a fire going and full tummies we celebrated the birthday with a brownie and some cookies and settled in for the night.

Turning 12

The air was full of the sounds of the night. We heard coyotes singing in the distance, hogs fussing at each other across the prairie, frogs performed a wonderful chorus and near daylight we heard the distinct yipping of a fox and the birds sang to the rising of the sun. While breakfast was on the boys took off down the trails searching for animal sign and were please to see so much! When we were poking around the back side of camp we even spooked up a 6 point white-tailed deer. It was an amazing morning and we still had not put on our packs to hike back.

Morning on the trail

It was a long hot sunny morning out on the prairie. We all took turns leading the trail and experienced more than I could ever cover in a short blog like this….Tired and hot we arrived back at the car to drop our packs. To celebrate our victory in completing this task we headed to the concession area and all finished off this trip with ice cream!

Our next couple of birthdays were celebrated at a group campout event that was held at Hillsborough River State Parkfor Halloween. 3 birthdays and an anniversary! 14 persons in all and everyone was happy to meet and great all the different families that traveled from Jacksonville, Tampa and Palm Harbor to attend this annual campout. We had so much fun celebrating with the 4 year olds and the adults.

Kids learned about animals

We had a wonderful singer that came along “Benjamin Dehart, The Cracker Tenor”and he (with his cattle dog Wrangler) had the kids and adults all entertained day and night! Having all the birthdays just made our Monster Mash on Saturday even more fun!

Roasting marshmallows with the kids

Introducing people to the outdoors can never be a “wrong” idea. If they are 4 or 12 or 40 it is never too early (or late) to start enjoying all the wonderful things nature has in her bounty for us to enjoy.

To book your next “special occasion” with us please visit our website Http://www.notaclueadventures.com . We are also on facebook , stop by and become a fan!

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About notacluegal

Jeanene was born in Pittsburgh, PA. As a young child her family was very active in the outdoors. Things changed when her parents decided to travel down different paths in life and with that decision so went many of the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Being lucky to live in the suburbs Jeanene always had a backyard to play in and loved being outdoors. As the years passed she took every opportunity to be outdoors. She bought land in Tennessee and as a single mom moved her young daughter to the mountains. The were many life lessons learned on that mountain. There was no plumbing on the property – or even a house, but that did not stop her. She learned to live off of what was available and built her own cabin from the trees on her property. Those were rough years but the most rewarding. Now Jeanene resides in Tampa, Fl. and works as an office manager full time….but still yeans to be outdoors. Jeanene started “Not a Clue Adventures” to teach everyone she could how wonderful the outdoors are! That camping and fishing and hiking can be done by everyone and at many different levels. Single mom’s no longer have to be afraid to take their sons and daughters outdoors. By working with young couples, single parents and even seniors, she gets to teach others about her love for the outdoors and hopes to open their eyes to new adventures. In 2009, Jeanene completed certification as a Leave No Trace Instructor. She also works closely with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Florida State Parks. Jeanene is also certified in First Aid/Adult CPR.
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One Response to Celebrating Birthdays in the Wilds of Florida

  1. Sugel says:

    Hi, This summer a friend and myself went from Balls Eddy PA on the west branch to Washingtons Crossing. (Next Week to Trenton)It has been a wonderful experience to say the least. We have two 12 foot recreation kayaks. A Dirigo and a Vapor,(Old Towns)That are just the ticket for the Delaware, however I have seen every kind of conveyence possible and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. If you are planning any kind of trip at all the most essential item in your kit will be the book by Gary Lecher “Canoeing the Delaware” I downloaded it to my kindle for $8.00 or you can get it at Amazon or the large retailers. Almost every Question that is posed here is addressed in this book. Kayaks do need a PA access permit to use the PA access points and they send you a sticker that goes on the side of your craft so they can easily see it. Lechers book gives all the miles and access points on both sides of the river and, what I liked, the history of each area you go through. I wore a pfd for the entire trip,on both slow and fast water. The most important things to bring along are, plenty of drinking water, a large cowboy type hat with a string around the chin, decent sunglasses with string around head, and plenty of sun block. See you on the Delaware.

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