2013 Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge

Whoa—I’ve just found out about this awesome challenge offered by the Vermont State Parks: The 2013 Venture Vermont Challenge. Dan and I have already decided to make more camping trips this year, and so participating in this challenge will add another level of fun for us.

Dan and I are not back-to-nature people. We also have no kids or pets that we travel with. Some of our friends were surprised to know that we enjoy this sort of recreation. Our daily “city” life in Montpelier is absent of forestry, animal tracking or wilderness survival. And perhaps that is what makes weekend camping so necessary for us.

For us the break from technology and immersion into nature is our main benefit. Plus, both of us had enjoyable times in campgrounds growing up, and we have nostalgia for them. Dan used to go camping with his grandparents. My family used to go picnicking on Saturdays during the summer.

Photo of Dan at Ricker Pond. 2012

Dan manages to set the grate of the fire pit at our site at Ricker Pond. 2012.

Last year, we camped at Ricker Pond at the Groton State Park where we had a very relaxing time. It was our first time there, and we scoped out the other campsites so we knew which ones we might want to reserve for future visits. We also camped at Quechee Gorge—our second time there.

Fairy House 2012.

My Fairy House at Quechee Gorge also had a place for al fresco dining. 2012.

I think this year we’ll try Ricker Pond again along with at least one new park. We hope also to do one group camping session with some friends.

As part of the 2013 Venture Vermont Challenge, I am particularly looking forward to the following:

    • Creating a nature journal


  • Making an animal fact sheet
  • Swimming
  • Visiting a waterfall
  • Building a fairy house
  • Writing a poem
  • Telling a campfire story
  • Discovering a new park and new trails
  • Sleeping under the stars
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking in the rain


Thanks to the VSP crew for creating a fun way for us to enjoy the parks. I’ll be posting some of my adventures here as the season progresses.

Photos are mine, edited via Instagram.

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