Grandparenting: Geriat-Tricks

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

Grandparenting: Geriat-Tricks
By Bob Howells

Call it cross-generational bonding, old-fashioned mentoring, or just doing neat stuff with the grandkids--more and more outfits are bringing disparate generations together on outdoor jaunts. Not surprisingly, Elderhostel lurks behind many of them, such as Let's Talk Wolf: Intergenerational Wolf Discovery at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota. The syllabus of the six-day (August 3-8) immersion into wolfdom includes learning to howl to the center's resident wolves and talks by the center's "Alpha" wolf, a human who lives with the pack. Cost is $365 for adults; $310 for kids 9 (minimum age) to 12. Book through Elderhostel, 617-426-8056. Elderhostel (with Canyonlands Field Institute) also runs a six-day raft trip on the San Juan River in southern Utah for grandparents and kids 8 to 14 that includes time for nature hikes, storytelling, and epic water fights. The river's mellow enough that kids can run stretches solo in inflatable kayaks. The $415 per-person cost includes one motel night and four under the stars. Trips run from mid-June to mid-August; contact Elderhostel.

Grandtravel does nothing but intergenerational trips, typically by bus with, naturally, lots of stops. On the ten-day American Indian Culture trip through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, the stops include a raft-run of the Animas River, a Navajo-guided jeep tour of Canyon de Chelly, and visits to both the real Grand Canyon and its virtual surrogate, the IMAX Theatre. The trip runs June 22 to July 1 for ages 12 to 17, and August 10 to 19 for ages 7 to 11. Rates are $3,185 per person, all-inclusive, double-occupancy. Call Grandtravel, 800-247-7651.

W h a t   E v e r y   B u g - C a t c h e r   I s   W e a r i n g
If you can see it, hear it, and pinpoint its location, then surely you can catch it. A bug, that is. New from Wild Planet (800-247-6570) are the necessities for budding entomologists.
  • The Live Insect Collector ($9): Catch 'em, then identify 'em with the accompanying manual.
  • The Trail Light ($7): An adjustable lamp that attaches to any size head, arm, or bike.
  • Explorer's Watch ($9): A 6-in-1 Survival Watch with digital time display, compass, thermometer, alarm, stopwatch, and signal mirror.
  • Supersonic Ear ($24): Enjoy the insect-tracking potential of this "Powerful Listening Device," but don't take it too close to Yosemite Falls.

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