Ijams Nature Center and Mast General Store Present Fundraiser With Experiential Education Author Cindy Ross on May 21

May 2nd, 2019

Posted by admin,

Ijams Nature Center and Mast General Store will present an Ijams Camp Scholarship Fundraiser featuring author, photographer and speaker Cindy Ross on Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at the Ijams Visitor Center, 2915 Island Home Ave., in Knoxville.

The program is free for current Ijams members. The cost for nonmembers is $5 and will go toward a scholarship for an at-risk or underserved child to attend a week of Ijams Nature Adventure Summer Camp this summer. Donations also will be accepted.

For more than 35 years, Ross has found peace, happiness and a sublime sense of contentment while walking and cycling the trails across North America. As a single woman, she crossed the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail, penning and illustrating her first book, A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail. Then she tackled the 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail through the Sierra and Cascade Mountains with her husband, Todd Gladfelter. That resulted in her second book, Journey on the Crest.

When she and Gladfelter had children, their travels became a family affair. With two small children in tow, they embarked on a five-summer, 3100-mile trek, using llamas as kid carriers and packers to carry supplies and diapers across the Rocky Mountains. The journey took five summers, 500 miles at a time. The last stretch through New Mexico was desert, so they traded llamas for tandem mountain bikes and trailers loaded with 100 pounds of gear for the last 650 miles to the Mexican border. She captured it all in her sixth book, Scraping Heaven – A Family’s Journey Along the Continental Divide.

The trek opened Ross’ eyes to the value of experiential education. Inspired, she created a new way to supplement her children’s education by developing learning opportunities in 12 countries while they lived simply and traveled on foot and bicycle.

Ross will share how parents can provide experiential education closer to home for their own children during a multimedia presentation about her most recent book, The World is Our Classroom – How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education. The book shares Ross’ expertise gleaned from 24 years of mothering as a writer, an outdoor adventurer and a home-school facilitator, through presentations and workshops. By sharing her story, along with honest insights from her children about the importance of their unusual education, Ross aims to empower parents to believe they can be their children’s best and most important educators.

Ross will sign books after the presentation. The following books will be available for purchase: The World is Our Classroom, Scraping Heaven, Journey on the Crest and A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail.

Mast General Store Community Relations Manager Ryan Robinson, who approached Ijams about bringing Ross to the nature center, knew this program was the perfect fit for Mast and Ijams.

“At Mast Store, we sponsor events that align with our core values including traditions for a better community, a better world, a better future through supporting the arts, conservation, education and human need organizations,” he said. “We hope that Cindy Ross will help parents teach children about our environment and how we all impact what’s around us with the ultimate goal of seeding the next generation of community and environmental stewards.”

Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker agrees.

“We know that getting children outdoors is critical to their development,” she said. “Ijams’ Nature Preschool, homeschool programs, adventure camps and public programs all are designed to develop healthy, active children who love, appreciate and protect the natural world.

“We’re really pleased to welcome Cindy Ross to Ijams, and to partner with Mast on this event,” Parker said. “Her experiences really drive home the importance of experiential education and family time outdoors, and we hope all who attend will come back to put what they learn into practice and take advantage of the wonderful programs Ijams offers.”

For more information or to register, visit https://ijams.org/.

The Mast Store in Knoxville is located at 402 South Gay St. and is a part of a family of employee-owned stores headquartered in North Carolina. In the truest sense a general store, you’ll find something for everyone from age one to 101 – outdoor and travel gear, traditional fashions, comfortable footwear, country gourmet foods and hundreds of old-fashioned candies, and everyone is greeted with friendly and knowledgeable service.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually, from school field trips and off-site programs to on-site outdoor and classroom education programs that focus on topics from birding and wildflowers to yoga hikes, cooking classes and art programs. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Ijams website or call 865-577-4717.

Comments are closed.