Preschool in the Outdoors? – News Flash

8 06 2010

Preschool in the outdoors? I’m all for it if the weather is permits. This is what Vashon Island, Washington is doing with their five year-olds. This concept is said to have come from Europe and has now washed ashore in the U.S. Nice. Cedarsong Nature School  conducts classes among the sounds, smells and flora of the forest in efforts to create a balance in learning and development for kids growing up in an accelerated technological age. I’m curious if this concept is spreading to the lower and eastern states. Learning about and appreciating nature needs to happen through experience and maybe this is a great start. Our children are more disconnected from the outdoors more than ever. They are scared of animals, bugs and even grass! Bringing them into nature and teaching them while in the environment early may help lay the ground work for a more environmentally conscious society. Check out their site and the video. Tell us what you think.

Outside kids


Squash the Grapes! Its Wine Festival Season!

25 05 2010
Chilling the white grape

Wine Chillin

Grapes, berries, and other fermented fruit will be celebrated this summer season by my friends and family.  We kicked it off with Wine in the Woods held every year at the Symphony Woods in Columbia, Maryland, May 15-16.

Its been a while since I’ve posted any recants of outdoor venturing.  I certainly meant to keep you all updated on the “goings on” in the outdoor spaces of Maryland parks. Forgive me. Its not that I needed recovery time, its just that I’m honestly juggling quite a bit of writing but finding my rhythm now.

Wine in the Woods attracts thousands of wine lovers from all over the state to sample the best of what Maryland vineyards have to offer. Among those bringing their best bottles are Berrywine Plantations / Linganore, Elk Run, and Knob Hall Winery. The Greek God Bacchus greeted us at the entry.  He struck curious poses with visitors snapping pictures for memorabilia.


If you’ve never been to a wine festival, this is one to attend. Wine festivals are not outdoor events laden with booze and drunken participants. Yes, you can get drunk however, mature crowds enjoy wine festivals for the shear “adult, grown and sexy” appeal and being drunk in public is not grown and sexy. This event is also very family friendly. There are plenty of food vendors with tastings to sample ranging from candied pecans to beef jerky; they are barbeque abundant and have ice cream galore. Artisans display their crafts and artwork creating a cultural atmosphere to the park. Clowns on stilts roam the crowd to amuse the kids and face painting stations also lend a hand in making the children feel like they are a part of the festivities.  Wine in the Woods also features several bands to keep the party going.  What did strike me this year as odd was that the price went up $5.00 for entry, bringing the ticket for tasters over 18 to $30.00 at the gate. But then again, this does allow you to have an unlimited amount of tastings. The weather was beautiful with temperatures in the 80’s and clear skies made sun for easy sunbathing. Like most wine festivals, Wine in the Woods allows visitors to bring coolers stuffed with fruit, crackers, cheese or what ever else one wishes to pair with the featured vino.

I’ll do better next time and let you know when this festival is coming up. In the meantime, look out for other outdoor wine festivals in the Maryland region. Remember to drink responsibly and that all who attend wish to enjoy the event as well. If you are toting food, try to include washable plates and utensils or use earth friendly, recyclable products.  I’ll write an update listing products to consider. Here is a listing of Wine Fesivals below.

D.C. Bike to Work Day

17 05 2010

Every month is a new celebration – or two.  This month is also – National Bike month.  Many cities are hosting special Bike events like “Bike to Work Day”.

meiliebecktrek becky beamer

Washington D.C > BIKE TO WORK DAY > Friday MAY 21st.

* Get a FREE T-SHIRT, get healthy and save the earth all at one time ! *

Join thousands of area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a clean,fun and healthy way to get to work!  Meet up with your neighbors at one of 35 regional pit stops, ride into the city with experienced commuter convoys and meet your fellow cyclists at Freedom Plaza. Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Commuter Connections invite you to try bicycling to work as an alternative to solo driving. Help the Washington region become a better place to ride.  Bike to Work Day is a FREE event and open to all area commuters.  There will be a raffle, prizes, food, drink and more at all pit stops throughout the region.

For more information :

(This website also has great Bike Maps for DC.)

So, Dust off your bike helmet and take a ride to work.

— becky beamer

Event : Celebrate National Trails Day

15 05 2010

It’s time to get outside – celebrate June 5th- National Trails Day.  There are all kinds of fun – FREE – activities set up in your area.  I suggest going online and looking up your local REi store for more information.

If you haven’t heard of Rei –  ( ) – it should be  your new outdoor best friend.  They have exceptional services and an outstanding return policy.

becky beamer Meiliebecktrek

One example:

College Park REI — Celebrate National Trails Day

  • Time: 8:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
  • Partner Organization: MD State Parks
  • Group Size: 100

Description: Celebrate National Trails Day Saturday June 5, 2010 8:30am to 1:00pm Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon/Orange Grove Area Join us to get dirty and have fun with the whole family. Our National Trails Day service project is at Patapsco Valley State Park (Avalon/Orange Area). We have a broad range of projects for everyone’s skill level. Projects include stream clean-ups, invasive plant removal, repainting trail blazes, basic trail maintenance, correcting drainage issues, and building a new trail. We will start registration at 8:30am with some breakfast snacks. At 9:00am we’ll get started on the projects. At 1:00pm we will regroup at our starting point and enjoy as bite to eat. Bring a water bottle and gloves. We suggest you ware long pants, sturdy shoes and a hat. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If we have a sunny day bring sun screen. Volunteers should register online at We will go rain or shine. So mark your calendar and hold the date.

Enjoy the Sunshine!

– becky beamer

GEAR > want to waterproof your camera or ipod on the CHEAP?

14 05 2010

Yes – I am a true believer of bringing electronics to the beach , camping, and to the pool.  With these water activities comes the possibility of water-logged electronics.  Your electronics are not only expensive but are filled with information.  So why not protect these items? I do.

So solve this problem – I hide my iphone in a small pelican case.   These solutions are both highly rated and reasonably cost.

Becky Beamer  Meiliebecktrek

ITEM : Dry Pak Camera Case – Lrg


BUDGET: $14.50

Becky Beamer Meiliebecktrek

ITEM : Seattle Sports Dry Doc Waterproof Digi Case


BUDGET: $9.00

– becky beamer

NEWS > Mark your calendar for D.C Expo

11 05 2010

Anyone who likes travel, adventure and sweepstakes should attend the Travel Adventure Show.  I went last year – and I had a blast.  It’s early – I know but worth the reservation.


March 12th & 13th , 2010

Washington Convention Center,
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW

Public Show Hours:
Saturday, March 6: 10:30am-5:30pm
Sunday, March 7: 11:00am-4:30pm

Can we visit ALL the Maryland State Parks?

8 04 2010

Meiliebecktrek becky beamer Maryland

is on a mission – get our money worth out of our Maryland State Park Annual Pass .   We are going to visit as many Maryland State Parks as we can.  We will document each park’s features in blog post and videos.  Our adventures will include kayaking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding.  We believe Maryland has a lot to offer for outdoorsman – of all levels and on all different budgets.

If you have ideas for us – we are open to ideas.

If you want to join us and explore the Maryland State Parks – get a pass!  Follow this link:

Cost: 75.00

Cost per a park visited so far : 75.00 (1 park)