Beth and Ted Nelson’s adventurous grandchildren: Zoe Laloe, Lila Nelson, Anne-Sophie Laloe, and Max Nelson (photo courtesy of Anna Laloe)

The Nelson family including Anne-Sophie Laloe, Zoe Laloe, Max Nelson, and Lila Nelson (grandchildren to Beth and Ted Nelson of East Harwich) embarked on quite an adventure exploring local conservation lands and scenic trails through their “Winter Camp” experience.  Part of their odyssey even included a chilly plunge into Pleasant Bay!

As Ted explained:

We created a sort of Winter Camp while our four grandchildren were staying with us for a two week period. During the “camp” the grandchildren had arts and crafts (built birdhouses and so on); outdoor and indoor games; s’mores by the fire; adventures to other places like Heritage Gardens for the Christmas lights; and daily chores.

The Crown Jewel of the activities was a daily hike. We created 13 different hikes (with one Winter Plunge in Pleasant Bay). These were mostly at HCT properties, but we also included other favorites like Hawksnest, Wading Path Place at Round Cove, Fort Hill and Frost Fish Creek. Each of these hikes was put on a slip of paper and all were put into a pot from which they would draw a hike each day and the adventure would begin. It was amazing!

Rainbow sky by Gerry Beetham

Our hikes were as short as Frost Fish Creek and as long as a combined hike from our house down to Round Cove around the Bay to Bay Road and up to the D. Isabel Smith Monomoy River Conservation Lands, then through the Pleasant Bay Woodlands, and finally back to our house, which took about 2-1/2 hours. Our final hike was in the rain at Bell’s Neck for 1-1/2 hours.

Every single walk was met with excitement and plenty of learning opportunities to identify different types of trees, talk about cranberry bogs, various scat we identified along the way, reading trail maps, and so on. I could not believe how well they all held up to the hikes. Every hike had an equal dollar amount of $10 except the Pleasant Bay Plunge which had $30 awarded. So each time they completed the activity they raised that amount of money for HCT. The grandchildren through their incredible enthusiasm raised $460 to support HCT’s land-saving mission.

Thank you Anne-Sophie Laloe, Zoe Laloe, Max Nelson, and Lila Nelson for your inspiring appreciation of our shared conservation destinations. We are lucky that you are part of the next generation of stewards taking care of this special corner of the Cape.