Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Create Your Own Art-n-Nature Hiking Club with Five Easy Steps!

Nine heading out on our first Art-n-Nature Hike
Autumn has brought beautiful weather to our local area.  So, while the weather, inspiration and our schedule aligned, I decided to act on an idea that has been brewing in my mind for quite a while -- beginning and Art and Nature Hiking Club for the the kids, other families and me.

Doing so was super easy!  In fact, it only took five steps:

1.  Create a purpose statement and general outline for the club. 

Our purpose is to nurture a love for nature, an understanding of design and an appreciation for how nature inspires art.  Plus, of course, to simply enjoy time outside with others. 

Our club outline is to meet weekly, hiking different nature trails while focusing on each of the seven elements of artAt each meeting, we might do a quick supply check and, then, briefly discuss one or more elements of art and design as we begin our hike.  Along the trail, we may note examples of the target element(s) in nature.  Then, when we come to a clearing, or are back at the trailhead, we may create art works inspired by our observations.  The media for these works will depend on the day’s target elements and will be provided by my family, each parent-child(ren) group or nature itself, depending on what is announced in the hike posting. 

2.  Write up an introduction to the club to share with others.
The one I wrote can be found here in a Word document.  Since I wanted to get the club rolling while weather, my family schedule and inspiration aligned, I did not bother with fancy images, graphics, formatting, etc. but rather just stuck to the what the club was and how folks could join.

Please feel free to download and edit my intro letter if you'd like to start your own club, of course, sharing with folks that you got the idea here by sharing the Training Happy Hearts webpage, this post or the Training Happy Hearts Facebook page with those you introduce the club to.  I'd love to see links to posts and pictures of your club, too!  Oh, and if you happen to add some great design and graphics to the edit you do of my intro, please share back!

3.  Create a private Facebook Group (or alternative).

To centralize and facilitate communications, I created a private Facebook Group and, then, invited folks to join it through a variety of local yahoogroups, Facebook groups and forums I belong to.  I also called or emailed a few friends personally and posted about the group on my personal facebook page.  I was wowed when within 24 hours, 40+ people had joined the group.  (My Training Happy Hearts Facebook page has been live for far longer and only has 230+ likes.)

4.  Plan the first hike.

Since I was eager to finally turn idea to acted upon reality, I planned our first hike for just a few days after I invited people to join the club.  It was at a local conservation area with fields, a river and wooded areas and focused on the art element line.  In an upcoming post, I will share details about the plans I made and how they turned out.

5.  Invite folks to the first hike and enjoy!

I used the Facebook group to invite folks to our first hike -- and posted it on my personal Facebook page and one other homeschool forum I am in just to get initial word out.  Since it was rather last-minute, only three families besides ours said they would be able to go and, of those, two ended up having to drop out.  So, our first hike-and-art ended up being just for my children, one other family and me.

Indeed, it was a normal group, but we were okay with that.  The day was gorgeous in every way.  The weather was gorgeous, the trail beautiful and the art fun.  We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and when we posted about it later on our Facebook group, a number of folks commented that they were sorry to have missed joining us and cannot wait for hike # 2, which will be coming soon!

A picture the other mom took of the kids and I doing watercolor resists on the trail.

 Our second hike will be this week, focusing on shape.  Several families have already RSVP'd for it and we cannot wait to share the experience with them.

If you decide to model a club after this idea, I'd love to hear about it.  I'd also welcome any comments or links with your favorite ideas for:
  • art projects dealing with line, shape, color, form, texture, value and space
  • outdoor art projects 
  • other hiking club focuses 

Enjoy the Other Posts in This Series...


 How can you combine your interests with outdoor, community pursuits?


Related Posts with Thumbnails