Ethical Navigators Weekly Update – May 10


  • Updated: More details about our next Outing: camping in Mark Twain National Forest over Memorial Day weekend.
  • Plans in place for outings and add-ons from May through July.
  • For children age 8 and up,please consider going to Camp Quest.
  • Our next General Meeting will be at 9:45 am on June 21.
  • Our next Council Meeting will be May 17 at 9:30.

May 22-25: Camping/Civil War/Shut-Ins
We have selected Silver Mines Campground in Mark Twain National Forest for our May camping outing. This campsite is less than an hour drive from both Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park and the Civil War battle site at Fort Davidson State Historic Site. We have a reservation for Memorial Day Weekend (May 22-25). Stuart Morse is also planning to organize higher-impact Senior Navigator activities.
Here are the details:

  • Friday: meet at Silver Mines Recreation Area Campground (PDF).
    Directions: From St. Louis, take Interstate 55 south to Hwy. 67 south; then, at Fredericktown, take Hwy. 72 west to Hwy. D following it to Silver Mines.

    From St. Louis it should take about 1 ½ hours to 1 ¾ hours, depending on what part of town you’re starting from. Once you get close there are signs pointing the way.

    Note: Google Maps seems to only recognize “Silver Mine Recreation Area” when the actual name is “Silver Mines Recreation Area” (note the plural).

    We have sites 39, 41, 42, 45, 46,48, 53, & 55 in the Prospect Loop.

  • Saturday Morning: expedition to the Fort Davidson historic site.
    Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site

    The visitor center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

  • Saturday Afternoon: water, hiking, and climbing fun at Johnson’s Shut-Ins.

  • Sunday: hiking, swimming, and rock hounding on the trails of Silver Mines.
    The 2-mile long Silver Mines Trail follows both sides of the river.  West Section leads to Riverside Picnic Area.  East Section (1 mile) leads to Turkey Creek Picnic Area.  From there, a 1.2 mile trail leads to Mill Stream Gardens Conservation Area, managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
  • Monday: swimming and climbing at the Amidon Memorial Conservation Area.
    This site features the pink granite Castor River shut-ins and the Cedar Glade Trail.
    Amidon Memorial Conservation Area is located south of Route J, approximately eight miles east of Fredericktown. County Road 208 fords the Castor River on the area.

Note that this is an unusual camping outing because it falls on a three-day weekend. Some families will be there Friday-Monday, but please don’t feel that you have to do that to participate. You can join us for a day or two.

May 31 Add-on
Family Float Trip/Paddle for a Cause on Sunday, May 31 at 1:30pm.

Join the Open Space Council for a fun-filled summertime float trip on the beautiful Courtois, Huzzah, and Meramec Rivers to raise funds for this year’s Operation Clean Stream! This family-friendly float trip is approximately 3 hours long. A delicious picnic dinner and outdoor games will follow the float.

Early bird registration is available until May 15, 2015 and tickets may be purchased for $55/adult and $15/youth (age 15 and under). Tickets purchased after May 15, 2015 are $60/person for adults and $20/youth (plus service fee if purchased online.)

Tickets may be purchased online. Tickets include paddles, canoes, life jackets, shuttle, and dinner. All money raised from this event will go to support Operation Clean Stream, an annual river cleanup and restoration event in the Meramec Watershed.

Reminder: An add-on is an event that some families in Navigators might attend, but not an event for which we are having a formal presence. If you know of other events that might be fun for Navigators, please let us know, and we will advertise them and add them to our calendar.

June 26-28: Camping/Caves/River
We will camp at Onandaga Cave State Park the weekend of June 26-28. This park will provide opportunities for spelunking, hiking, and playing in the Meramec River. Lance Finney is planning this weekend, and more details will come later.

July 5-11: Camp Quest
Camp Quest is a “place for fun, friends and freethought for kids ages 8 to 17. We provide a traditional sleepaway summer camp experience with a wide range of activities, including sports, crafts, games, swimming and campfires.” If you had experience with a sleep-away church camp and wish your children could have the same experience except replacing the religious message with “critical thinking, ethics, scientific inquiry, philosophy and comparative religion”, this is the place for you. Camp Quest is open for children ages 8-17.

Camp Quest Kansas City will be running July 5-11 at Knob Noster State Park, between Kansas City and Sedalia, Missouri. We do not expect this to be an official Ethical Navigators event, but we view this as a “Super Add-On.” At least one family in our chapter is considering participating, and at least one of our leaders is considering volunteering as a leader.

Camp Quest is only $380 for a full week of sleep-away camp (through May 1- the price rises to $430 after that). Let us know if you have any questions, and we will try to facilitate this as much as possible.

July 17-19: Camping/Float Trip
Our formal outing for July will be be another float-trip camping weekend at Meramec State Park, where we went in July 2014. We have campsites reserved for July 17-19 Tom Draney is planning this weekend.

General Meetings

June 21
Our next General Meeting will be at 9:45 am on June 21 at the Ethical Society in preparation for the Onandaga Cave State Park outing.


May Council Meeting

Our next Council meeting is scheduled for 9:30 am on May 17 in the Nursery School Green Room. All are welcome to observe and comment.

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