Outdoor Families Have a Place to Gather


What does one have, if she doesn’t have nature?

This week a new project was born, one that hopefully will provide parents, grandparents, educators, politicians, and anyone else concerned with the viability of outdoor spaces and nature-based opportunities for young people. This project is a community, a sounding board, and a set of resources on a global scale. It’s called Outdoor Families Magazine, and I’m proud of it.

The product of founder Jennifer Fontaine, a worldly, L.A.-based gal who also happens to be a photographer, writer, actress, and mom, OFM got its start last year during a little kibbutzing session on a Facebook outdoor blogger group to which we both belong. She yelled (yes, you can yell online) “HEY – I just had a crazy idea – Outdoor Families Online is available!”

Enter the thought process.

Meet the team: Traci Lehman (L); Jennifer Fontaine (C), and moi.

Meet the team: Traci Lehman (L); Jennifer Fontaine (C), and moi.

Hundreds of hours spent in conference calls with our cohorts in the industry, thousands of hours spent developing a theme, mission, and set of values that would set Outdoor Families Mag apart from any other publication around. We hoped. Jennifer and I welcomed the addition of a third partner, Traci Lehman, a tech-wizardress and publisher of the blog Walk Simply from her home in Southern California.

Admit the doubts.

I love kids. I love nature. I really love what I do. So...

I love kids. I love nature. I really love what I do. So…

Did I have time for this? I had sold a book, was considering a second one (and we all know what happened, there), I was wandering shorelines of Southeast Alaska during the summer, showing kids the intricacies of rainforests, wildlife, and their own curiosity. I had people at home, and a business to attend. Editing was a hobby rapidly was morphing into a passion, but was it enough?

Feel the love.

Outdoor Families Magazine: "Where families and nature unite." Yes.

Outdoor Families Magazine: “Where families and nature unite.” Yes.

Sometimes, you just gel with people and ambitions in a glorious jumble of plans, and that’s what happened with our Outdoor Families Magazine team. But it’s more than that; the world wants in. Every day, emails arrive with questions about becoming involved, words of support, and suggestions for growth. The message is clear: Kids need nature, and it is up to us to provide opportunities and nuture these future stewards, and the adults who care for them, today.

That’s a pretty powerful message, and a sobering responsibility, but I think we’re up for it.

Go check out the January issue of Outdoor Families Magazine, hot off the inter webs, today. There’s a little bit of everything; travel, nourishment, adventures, outdoor activity ideas, and a special opportunity for readers to share a bit about their own outdoor family.

Enter your best outdoor family photo, today!

Enter your best outdoor family photo, today!

While you’re there, enter the Great Family Adventure Photo Contest, with a truckload full of prizes awarded to winners. The contest runs through January 29, so don’t delay, send in your best captures and be part of the community!

IMPORTANT NOTE: AKontheGO is still going strong, in fact, Alaska’s only family travel website is still the number one resource for kid-friendly activities and destinations around the 49th state. I’m not ready to give that up, but I am ready to expand my reach. If anything, the addition of Outdoor Families Magazine gives AKontheGO readers an even greater opportunity to explore this lovely blue planet we call home.



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