Our hike through Poison Ivy wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d imagined. Yes, we had to stick to the path, and all the moms and dads had to keep reminding kids to keep their hands in and not touch the greenery on either side of us for one little (though it felt long at the time) section, but the views were gorgeous.

There were 90 or so 3rd graders, and for the most part, they were incredibly well behaved. It was actually almost relaxing to walk through all that beautiful countryside with happy kids. It was fun talking with the other parents.

When we stopped for lunch, I almost cried, because Ben had gotten up early enough to get his own breakfast and to make both our lunches, so I’d have time to get myself ready. When I opened my lunchbox, there was “Mom” written in Sharpie across my sandwich bag. So cute.

There was an incredible demonstration by the Jackson County Search and Rescue Volunteers talking about what to do if you find yourself lost. They talked about how to make yourself bigger for rescuers to find you. How to stay in one spot. They gave us examples of some small things to bring along on any hike just in case you get separated from your group and need to wait for someone to find you. They did an awesome job. Then they showed us how their search dog worked and we got to see her find someone and get the rescuer to that person. Really amazing.

The teachers had set up little books for the kids to carry along with them so they could write observations, circle wildlife they spotted, or animal tracks they found. Ben’s teacher won a bet with the Guide because she was sure we’d find animal tracks, and we did. We found deer tracks. The kids spotted various bugs and birds and snails. This mom was super happy that we didn’t find any snakes this time. Whew!

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