Archive for the ‘Service’ Category

“Voluntourism”

04/07/2011

Voluntourism Emerging as Fast Growing Niche for Outdoor Specialty Retailers
From: The Global Ripple
Clothes that can be worn a long time, not show dirt or stink, and be washed by hand: Rain gear. Sturdy, waterproof walking shoes suitable for mud. Duct tape. Bug repellent. Compact water filter. Headlamp. Pocket knife. Money pouch. Sun block. One-liter, reusable water bottle. Day pack…

These items could easily have been excerpted from a gear list provided by an outfitter, the National Outdoor Leadership School or a chapter of the Youth Conservation Corps, but they were not. They were found instead on gear lists published by — or on behalf of — the American Hiking Society (AHS), the Conservation Volunteers International Program (CVIP) and Wilderness Volunteers, which are among the growing number of non-profit conservation groups partnering with tour operators to fuel rapidly growing demand for voluntourism. Read the rest of this story..

Donate to Christchurch Earthquake Relief

05/03/2011

If you feel inclined to help with the effort of NZ’s recovery of the Christchurch earthquake, you can make a donation directly to the New Zealand Red Cross website at www.redcross.org.nz/donate

The Christchurch Earthquake

26/02/2011

When the Earth Shakes, and We Humans on it.
Make a *donation directly to NZ Red Cross Christchurch Fund

Epicenter: Lyttelton from above our house, a day before the quake

Amanda and I escaped. We were in Christchurch about 19 hours before the earthquake hit, just in front of the main church , which is now collapsed,  in the square dropping off my passport and work visa application at New Zealand immigration, We also ran some errands, and split up in the afternoon, Amanda stopping by a store, and I picking up our van at the bus depot.

When the earthquake did hit we were both at home. I was in the hallway, and all of sudden, I was being thrown about. I was disoriented for a few seconds, then ran down the hallway to grab my pregnant wife’s hand. She looked as confused as I, as we ran for the door. We had just experienced the earthquake 1km from the epicenter. Our rental home is just across the Lyttelton Inlet in Diamond Harbor’s Charteris Bay.  As I grabbed Amanda’s hand and we ran out of the back door of  the steel-framed house, I thought, “This isn’t good for Christchurch.”

Little did I know how bad it was.  Just over the crest of Port Hills, 20 min away, it was Hell. (more…)

MSI Gears up with Programs

17/11/2010

Mountain Spirit is advertising in Wisdom Magazine, and Spirit of Change aiming at people who might be at a crossroads in their life, or simply wanting to try a new challenge, or learn something new.

A non-profit educational organization

Creating a Sustainable Lifestyle program will be held in Northern Vermont next spring at a peaceful retreat center, focusing on the personal – sustainability and health. Learn how to plant a garden, the basics of yoga and meditation and of course time for relaxation in a beautiful place.

Drumming Jamaica program taught by well-known instructor Bob Bloom will be held in Treasure Beach Jamaica from Feb. 7-11. There will be about 20 hrs of instruction with plenty of time to explore the beaches and local culture. Lodging will be at the Calabash House.

New Zealand: Our other base. We will be based on the South Island near the Southern Alps. Aimed at active travelers but with flexible offerings, depending upon your interest and focus. Options are trekking, glacier travel, rock climbing, or simply walks and getting into the lessor known areas of the Wanaka and Queenstown area, with options of other parts of South Island depending  upon your availability, interest and energy. Be ready to step out and see something new.

For more info, see our website: www.mtnspirit.org

“Your Food Supply” Blog Series

18/07/2010

Coming soon: New series of blog posts  will open your eyes.
Keep an eye out for a new series of video and text posts starting here in a few days. We think you’ll like it.
We’ve just traveled across the U.S.A,  listening to an Omnivore’s Dilemma by Micheal Pollan. It was experiential education at its best, and a sobering experience.

What’s more it led to some great footage and interviews here in Durango, CO with local farmers and restaurateurs.
Stay tuned for this informative series of blog posts on your food supply.

The Invitation

27/06/2010

I have read this to many a program participant around camp in the mountains, and thought I’d share it here.

Hitchhiking in Labrador

The Invitation, By Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive. (more…)

Americans Who Tell the Truth

23/06/2010

It's About Time

Dutton has published Americans Who Tell The Truth, the book of the first fifty portraits in this series printed in beautiful color with short biographies and an essay by Robert Shetterly about the intent of the project. The book is suitable for all ages, but its target audience is middle and high school. We have published a free curriculum here on this website for teachers to be able to teach American history through the lives of these people.

This book has won the 2006 award of the International Reading Association for intermediate non-fiction.  The Children’s Book Council has named Americans Who Tell the Truth a 2006 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Read more here

David Korten hit a chord with Agenda for a New Economy and its call for abolishing Wall Street. In his new revised and greatly expanded edition, David fleshes out his vision for a replacement—a decentralized economy based on resilient communities, local businesses, and ecological systems.

Greed is Out - Localism, In

Global greed is out. Local sharing is in. The Wall Street system failed us; this book is a great guide as we build the alternatives.

“… our economic crisis is, at its core, a moral crisis. Our economic institutions and rules, even the indicators by which we measure economic performance, consistently place financial values ahead of life values. They are brilliantly effective at making money for rich people. Our children, families, and communities, and natural systems of Earth have paid an intolerable price.”
Read more on Korten at Yes Magazine

Companies Doing Good

18/06/2010

Ragged Mountain Equipment Leads the Way in Giving for the Environment

Donating for the Environment

Ragged Mountain Equipment in Intervale, NH is doing good work. When I was climbing in the North Conway area, Rob Nadler and Cort Hansen were just starting the store in a small space behind the Intervale post office. They made their own chalk bags, ice axe leashes and a few polypro pullovers. Since then, they’ve grown the business to one of the best outdoor and retail outlets in the nation. They might not be the biggest, but in my opinion, one of the best. There’s always a good feeling when you go into their store.

In line with their values, there now contributing .50 cents from every sale of a Ragged Mountain made product over $25.00 retail cost  to the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust (USVLT).

USVLT’s mission is to protect the cultural and scenic values of the Upper Saco River Valley by preserving land for farming, forestry, recreation and education.  Founded in 2000, USVLT has helped preserve nearly 4,000 acres of open space here in the area.  The same program is being used by some of the restaurants and B&B’s in the valley.

Says Cort, “I think we are the only retail/manufacturer doing this at this time.  I think it is a great program to raise the awareness of local land conservation issues. ”  He adds, “The customer has the choice at the register to opt out and save $.50.  Very few have done so.”

Every garment has a hang tag explaining their mission.  Says Cort, “We are in the process of expanding hang tags to all our existing inventory which is a major task I can inform you.  New styles come through with the tags already on them.”

They’re up to more good. Adds Cort, “We also enrolled the Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring Foundation in the program as well.  All ski trail passes sold here at the Touring Center include a $.50 contribution the USVLT.  We are the only XC ski touring center participating in this program currently.  I think this is vital to making all nordic skiers aware that almost 100% of the valley XC trails use private land which is not protected from development or alternative uses.”
Climber Henry Barber approached Ragged Mountain late last fall about their participating in this this program.

If you’d like to donate and help owners Rob and Cort with this worthwhile project, contact Cort at cort(at)raggedmountain.com

Gulf Oil Spill: How you can Help

07/06/2010

Volunteers

It’s easy to feel a bit helpless with the  Gulf oil spill. The first step is to stop by these Facebook pages:
Mobilize Support for Gulf Oil Beaches
Gulf Coast Oil Spill Volunteer Cleanup
If you can’t go to the Gulf and volunteer, consider a donation. We can’t vouge for this organzation, but saw it on the first listing’s Facebook page.
Donate: Emerald Coast Keeper

Global Meditation to Heal Waters

07/05/2010

If Group Meditation reduced violent crime in Washington DC, what could a massive healing meditation do for the world’s waters?

Startling & Postive Results

Below is a writeup on the now-oft quoted meditation event in Washington DC.  Then read further, about a worldwide meditation event scheduled for May 18th at 15:38 EST to send healing prayers to the world’s waters.

From alltm.org
A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Indicators Research reports on one of the most dramatic sociological experiments ever undertaken. Researchers predicted in advance that the calming influence of group meditation practice could reduce violent crime by over 20 percent in Washington, D.C., during an 8-week period in the summer of 1993.

In fact, the findings later showed that the rate of violent crime–which included assaults, murders, and rapes–decreased by 23 percent during the June 7 to July 30 experimental period. The odds of this result occurring by chance are less than 2 in 1 billion. Rigorous statistical analyses ruled out an extensive list of alternative explanations, according to John Hagelin, (more…)