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.
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.
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.
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.
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.