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Maple Ridge Center in Lowville sets children’s activities

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LOWVILLE — Adventure Club is the perfect name for a new program at Maple Ridge Center, offering a variety of outdoor activities to area 11- to 14-year-olds.

Funded by a grant from the Dyson Foundation, weekly sessions are scheduled to begin in February.

“This new program will serve the same purpose that everything else we do serves: We want to be a place for people to grow,” said Executive Director Keith Zehr. “We started as a summer camp, but we’re offering new programs and events all the time.”

Participants will meet weekly after school for about four weeks for a cost of $25. Snacks and all materials and equipment will be provided. Some sessions also include a Saturday field trip for activities that cannot take place at the center’s East Road location.

Transportation will be provided from the center for these events. The total cost for the sessions is $40. Scholarships are available.

After-school transportation is planned to the center from Lowville Academy and Central School. Transportation is in the works from other schools if enough students register for the sessions.

Those interested may register at www.mapleridgecenter.com.

Sessions to choose from include February’s cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, which includes a Saturday hike up a nearby mountain. Students will learn technique and balance.

In March, archery classes will focus on the history, safety strategies and techniques of the ancient skill. A new indoor range with new equipment will be used.

Offering archery was the brainchild of David Nisley, media and outreach director. As a former, but recent, Beaver Camp counselor, Mr. Nisley realized the popularity of “The Hunger Games” book series and movie and chose to bring the archery theme to life for area youths.

Wilderness survival will be featured in April. Fire building, foraging, outdoor cooking, map and compass travel and shelter building will be taught.

In April, and again in September, canoeing and water safety will be offered.

The basics of canoeing, such as paddle strokes and self-rescue techniques, will be part of the session, as well as a Saturday canoeing expedition.

A rocks and ropes course will take place in October. This session will be packed with knot tying, rock climbing and belaying, friction techniques climbers use to reduce falls.

There will be a variety of group games, trust- and goal-setting activities and communication-strengthening exercises.

A Saturday outing to the challenge course at Beaver Camp is planned.

Looking ahead to January 2014, a winter wilderness survival course will be available.

Basic skills needed to survive in outdoor winter weather, building a snow fort, signaling for rescue, cold injuries, hypothermia concerns and fire building will be taught.

A flier will be sent to students in Lewis County schools soon. For more information, visit the Maple Ridge Center website or call Beaver Camp at 376-2640.

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