Xtreme Roan Adventure set for July 28-29

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It’s time for young adventurers to get out their exploring gear and get ready for the ninth annual Xtreme Roan Adventures Youth Rally sponsored by Friends of Roan Mountain.

The rally will be held on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29 inside Roan Mountain State Park.

“We are really excited about it,” said event organizer Ken Turner. “We have our schedule down. It is a really nice schedule. There are a lot of new activities.”

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One of this year’s headlining programs may give some participants the creeps. Dr. “TJ” Jones, an arachnologist from East Tennessee State University, will entertain with his Encounters of the Eight-Legged Kind Stage Show about spiders. Jones’ program will be a part of the rally’s Free Friday Night Adventures on July 28.

“He is really into spiders, and he studies them,” Turner said about Jones. “He is really good at getting kids interested and aware of them.”

Jones will also lead adventurers on a spider hunt that same evening.

Another new program will be the Native Bee Adventure by Eric Rayfield of Appalachian University. There is a lot of news about the disappearing honey bee populations, so much so, that many people may overlook the large native bee population right in their back yard, and Rayfield’s program will seek to shed light on the local insects.

“There are potentially thousands of native bees that are still in the area but are not well known,” Turner said.

It will be a packed day on Saturday, July 29 as 22 adventures are on tap to lead young outdoor enthusiast on trips of discovery and fun. Turner, who is a lover of the outdoors himself, believes it is important for children to be introduced to the wonders of the natural world and that Xtreme Roan Adventures is an excellent way to do that.

“Add another dimension to their experiences,” said Turner. “If they are sitting on the couch playing video games, that is all two-dimensional experience. So our emphasis is to get them outside, in the creek catching salamanders, get them chasing butterflies, get them involved and they will find so much more excitement in a real, three-dimensional world.”

Registration is required and is available on www.xtremeroanadventures.org.