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Muddy Sneakers wins Best of the Blue Ridge for school-year and camp programs

Muddy Sneakers, an outdoor science education program, recently received two Best of the Blue Ridge awards.

Blue Ridge Outdoors announced in its January issue that Muddy Sneakers took top honors in the category for educational outdoor recreation program and Camp Muddy Sneakers was named best summer camp or program.

The annual awards, voted on by the magazine’s 340,000 readers, recognize the top organizations, businesses and experiences in the Southeast.

The Best of the Blue Ridge awards come as Muddy Sneakers continues its expansion across North Carolina. The organization has grown this school year to serve more than 2,800 students at 43 schools in 17 counties in western North Carolina and the Piedmont.

Muddy Sneakers partners with schools to supplement fifth-grade science instruction with hands-on outdoor learning expeditions on nearby protected lands. This includes providing curriculum-aligned programming at seven Rowan County elementary schools: China Grove, Granite Quarry, Isenberg, Knollwood, North Rowan, Overton and West Rowan.

Camp Muddy Sneakers embraces the philosophy that the best way for children to develop a connection to nature is through meaningful and fun outdoor experiences. The small-group format encourages kids to follow their imagination and curiosity as they engage with the world around them. Campers learn about biologically rich ecosystems while exploring the beautiful landscapes of North Carolina.

“Our organization is proud to bring outdoor experiential learning to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to connect so deeply with their natural surroundings,” said Muddy Sneakers Executive Director Ryan Olson. “We are grateful for the recognition for our school-year and camp programs, which promote a love of inquiry and reimagine the region’s protected lands as places for learning and discovery.”

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