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No Child Left Inside® Celebrates its 10th Year in 2015
 
Happy Anniversary! Since its inception in 2006, NCLI has hosted almost 100 events with thousands of families exercising their right to reconnect with nature and play in our State Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas.  We hope that in the next 10 years even more children, families and friends will unplug from technology, see what we have to offer, and participate in our upcoming events for 2015!  Don’t be left behind!
 
Winter Festival
Grab your warm weather gear, bundle up your children and join us for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) No Child Left Inside® ninth annual Winter Festival at Burr Pond State Park, 384 Burr Mountain Road, Torrington www.ct.gov/deep/BurrPond. A full range of fun, outdoor winter activities for the entire family will be happening on Saturday, February 7, 2015, 10 AM to 3 PM.
 
“Whether your favorite winter sport is toasting marshmallows over an outdoor bonfire or meeting the challenge of ice fishing and actually reeling in a fish, DEEP’s annual Winter Festival is the place to be for wintertime fun, exercise, and a social experience with families from all over the state,” said Commissioner Robert Klee.  “Year after year families look forward to this Festival where they can spend the day outdoors, bonding with each other and participating in good old-fashioned fun.”
 
The Festival is FREE and there is no registration required. Everyone is welcome to attend. Come out and enjoy a day full of outdoor adventure.  Activities will include ice fishing, fish fry, ice sculpting, wildlife tracks, ice safety rescue demonstrations by the Torrington Fire Department, visits from Resources in Search and Rescue, winter games, a marshmallow roast and bonfire.
 
Ice fishing equipment and instruction will be provided by DEEP’s Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) instructors. Dress for the cold weather and bring your skates.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) www.healthychildren.org has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm on a cold winter day.

• Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens (to keep hands warmer), and a hat. Layering is a good idea; so are moisture-wicking fabrics and clothing that’s geared to the sport.
• The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
• Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Have children come inside periodically to warm up.
• The sun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen.
 
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Sky's the Limit Hiking Challenge
Our Centennial Year of Events may have ended, but the Challenge is just beginning! We have selected 14 peaks in Connecticut’s State Parks & Forests for our Sky's the Limit Hiking Challenge.  You must complete 10 hikes to win a hiking staff medallion.  If you complete all 14 hikes, your family or group will be entered in a drawing to win a hiking staff. Here's how you can meet this challenge:
 
Step 1:  Hike at one of the CT State Parks or Forests listed below.
 
Step 2:  Snap two photos of yourself - one with a picture of you next to the State Park or
Forest shield sign and one at the location listed below.

STATE PARK & Forest Photo Locations (not all locations are open year round, so remember to check www.ct.gov/deep/StateParks to confirm and plan accordingly):

Dennis Hill State Park, Dennis Hill Pavilion, Route 272, Norfolk
Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Top of the Monument, Park Ave., Groton
Haystack Mountain State Park, Haystack Mountain Tower, Route 272, Norfolk 
Hurd State Park, Split Rock Vista, Route 151, East Hampton
Lovers Leap State Park, Scenic Vista along Falls Mountain Trail, Grove St., New Milford
Macedonia Brook State Park, Scenic Vista, 159 Macedonia Brook Rd., Kent
Mohawk Mountain State Forest, Mohawk Scenic Vista, 20 Mohawk Mountain Rd., Goshen
Mount Tom State Park, Mount Tom Stone Tower, Route 202, Litchfield
Pachaug State Forest Chapman Area, Mount Misery Overlook, Route 49, Voluntown
Shenipsit State Forest, Soapstone Mountain Observation Tower (currently closed), off Rt. 190, Somers
Sleeping Giant State Park, Stone Observation Tower on the Peak of Mt. Carmel, 200 Mount Carmel Ave., Hamden
Southford Falls State Park, Fire Tower, 175 Quaker Farms Rd., Rt. 188, Southbury
Talcott Mountain State Park, Heublein Tower, Route 185, Simsbury
West Rock Ridge State Park, Scenic Vista by the Upper Pavilion, Wintergreen Ave., Hamden

 
Step 3: Email your photos (a picture of the shield sign and photo of yourself at the above 10 locations),  along with your name and home address to receive a medallion to deep.stateparks@ct.gov or mail to CT DEEP State Parks, Sky’s the Limit, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106

Step 4: Send your photos of all fourteen locations, along with your name and home address by December 11, 2015 to deep.stateparks@ct.gov or mail to CT DEEP State Parks, Sky’s the Limit, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106 and you will be entered to win a hiking staff.  On January 1, 2016, 50 winners will be chosen by Friends of CT State Parks to receive a hand carved hiking staff. 

Don't forget to visit our calendar for upcoming events!
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