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April 23, 2018

Women take nontraditional trail to empowerment

Published: Sunday, 3/29/2015

Women take nontraditional trail to empowerment

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE OUTDOORS EDITOR

There is more to encounter along a rugged trek through the mountains than mud, boulders and an occasional cluster of poison ivy. For the women who are now taking to the trails, there is immense power and a strong sense of freedom found in trudging up those narrow switchbacks and imposing inclines.

Backpacking, climbing, hiking, and mountaineering are welcoming women in increasing numbers, and women are finding significant rewards while traversing terrain that in the distant past belonged primarily to men. Many parks throughout the country are now offering hiking and backpacking programs designed specifically for women, and these programs often include survival skills training, orienteering, map reading, sessions on setting up a camp, and even lessons on safety in bear country.

April Bruder is the mother of three and a kindergarten teacher in the Cincinnati area. She took part in the “Women in the Wilderness” program in the Great Smoky Mountains and came back anxious for a return trip.

“I love being outside, and I love the wilderness, so the idea of being in the outdoors with like-minded women sounded really appealing,” she said. “I was looking for a great experience, and it was all that, and more.”

Bruder said she and her family are not experienced campers, and that her husband “rolled his eyes” when she first pitched the notion of going backpacking, but eventually he was supportive of her taking part in such an adventure.

“I learned so much about the forest — everything is a nature lesson when you have a good guide,” she said. “We walked through flooded creeks and we slept outside, with the bears. This is so empowering for women, just to show ourselves that we can do it, and prove to others that we can do it.”

Most of the backpacking trips in the “Women in the Wilderness” program last three days, but longer outings are available. The groups are eased into the experience with a 3-5 mile hike the first day. Vesna Plakanis, who runs “A Walk in the Woods” guide service in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, said the outdoors adventure provides women with a boost in self confidence that can benefit every aspect of their lives.

“Women who join us are forever changed,” Plakanis said. “They come away feeling so strong and confident after learning how to make a fire with just one match, how to deal with the sounds and darkness of the woods at night and how to make themselves comfortable in the natural world. It’s empowering for a woman to give herself permission to do something just for her and to accomplish something she never thought she could do.”

Amy Conn is an assistant principal in the Canton school system, and following a divorce she decided she needed an experience that would be both demanding and rewarding, and she found it in a backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail.

“I had some challenges in my life, and I wanted to do something I could accomplish for myself,” she said. “I debated going on this trip for a long time, and then I finally paid for it so I would have to go. I just needed something that was just me — nobody helped. I could look back and say I did it all on my own.”

Conn, who has three children, said she initially balked at going backpacking in the mountains, fearing she might not be able to handle the physical demands of the trip. There would be no contact with the outside world during the hike, and no cell service available.

“My family thought I was crazy, and I was really afraid to go, but it turned out to be much more than I expected,” she said. “It was not like a normal vacation at all. We were 12 miles from the nearest road, but you get used to the isolation, and when you finish, the sense of accomplishment is much more that I ever expected.”

Many women who step out independently and take that initial backpacking trip, make that baptismal climb, or walk a mountain trail for the first time say they want to return with their children and/​or their husband so that family members can share the fun and the adventure.

“It is not on purpose, but I think women fall into that routine when they are married and they always have someone else to lean on, someone else to take the trash out, and so on,” Conn said.

“But doing this kind of thing on your own — it is empowering. You put one foot in front of the other and get lost in your thoughts, but when you come back you just want to do it again, and take your kids and your family along. You want them to have the same great experience in the outdoors.”

Along a similar line, Ohio and Michigan both offer a wide range of skills training in the “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program, which has been around for nearly 25 years and is now available in 44 states and nine Canadian provinces.

The workshops take place over a long weekend and in Ohio they are coordinated through the Division of Wildlife. Each fall, a group of women gather to learn how to handle a fly rod, navigate whitewater in a kayak, or load and fire a muzzleloader. There are also sessions in basic canoeing, cartridge reloading, outdoor photography, archery, basic shotgun use, tracking, handgun basics, using a tree stand, trail foods, and Dutch oven cooking. More information on the Ohio “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program is available by calling the 1-800-WILDLIFE hotline.

The “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” workshops offered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are focused on offering women the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to enjoy activities such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, orienteering, and backpacking, with all of the lessons emphasizing a “hands-on” approach.

More information on the Michigan “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program is available by emailing Sharon Pitz: pitzs@michigan.gov. Additional information on the “Women in the Wilderness” outings in Great Smoky Mountains at: National Park can be found at the AWalkintheWoods.com website.

Contact Blade outdoors editor Matt Markey at: mmarkey@theblade.com or 419-724-6068.

View the original here: 

Women take nontraditional trail to empowerment

MISSING IN AMERICA: Chelsea Bruck

Chelsea Ellen Bruck was last seen leaving a crowded Halloween party around 3:00am on October 26th, 2014 in Newport, Michigan.

The 22-year-old was dressed as the Batman character ‘Poison Ivy’ wearing black yoga pants, ivy leaves and a dark wig. Police have released the sketch below of a man with whom witnesses say Bruck was last seen before she vanished. However, the man has not yet been identified and police have not named him a suspect in her disappearance.

Monroe Police have also identified and spoken with four men who were wearing orange security shirts at the party, but have not said if any of them is possibly connected to the case. Police said there may have been more than 800 people at the party, and they are interested in any information from those who may have seen Chelsea there.

The Facebook group, Help Find Chelsea Bruck, has already gained more than 6,500 members. Hundreds of volunteers are continuing to comb the cornfields and wooded areas surrounding the property where she was last seen, but so far have not turned up any new clues.

“This is 100% uncharacteristic, it’s not anything she would do,” Bruck’s sister, Kassandra, told local NBC affiliate NBC 24. “She even told my mom, ‘I’m not staying long. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.’ This has just broken my parents.”

A prayer vigil is being held tonight, November 3rd, starting at 5:45pm at Monroe’s Loranger Square. Participants are asked to arrive between 5:00pm and 5:30pm.

Chelsea is 5’7” tall, 140 lbs. with blonde hair, green eyes, and a small anchor tattoo behind her right ear. Anyone with information that could help in Chelsea’s case is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at (734) 240-7700, or the Monroe county Central Dispatch at (734) 243-7070.

First published November 3 2014, 10:59 AM

View original article:

MISSING IN AMERICA: Chelsea Bruck

Police Use Party Photos in Hunt for Missing 'Poison Ivy'

Police in Michigan on Monday were focusing on clues they received when they asked the public to identify men in pictures taken during a large outdoor costume-party that a 22-year-old woman disappeared from more than a week earlier. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office posted another picture earlier in the week that showed the missing woman, Chelsea Bruck, in costume and smiling with five other people. The nine party-goers in the three photos have all been identified, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office, but Bruck is still nowhere to be found.

Bruck got separated from her friends at the Halloween bash on Oct. 25 and hasn’t been heard from since, according to NBC affiliate WDIV. She was wearing a Batman-inspired “Poison Ivy” costume comprised of black yoga pants and a leaf-covered green top, according to police. Her naturally blonde hair was colored purple. Volunteers and investigators have been scouring Monroe all week, fueled by tips on the “Help Find Chelsea Bruck” Facebook page, and leads called into police. The community has also rallied around the Bruck family by setting up a donation page and organizing a Monday night prayer vigil, according to Redeemer Fellowship Church in Monroe. “We just want her back,” Bruck’s mother Leannda Bruck told WDIV. “We just want her safe.”

SOCIAL

— Elisha Fieldstadt

First published November 3 2014, 9:04 AM

This article is from – 

Police Use Party Photos in Hunt for Missing 'Poison Ivy'

Woman Vanishes Following Halloween Party

PHOTO: A candle illuminates a portrait of Chelsea Bruck at candlelight vigil in Frenchtown Township, Mich., Oct. 28, 2014.

A young woman who vanished after an early Halloween party last weekend was last seen in a parking lot with a man who has a black moustache and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, police said.

Chelsea Ellen Bruck was last seen leaving the party between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Sunday while dressed as the Batman character Poison Ivy.

PHOTO: A search poster for Chelsea Bruck, provided by the Monroe County Sheriffs Office, is shown.

Monroe County Sheriffs Office/AP Photo

PHOTO: A search poster for Chelsea Bruck, provided by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, is shown.

Police in Monroe County, which is located in southeast Michigan, have issued a missing persons poster showing the normally blonde 22-year-old wearing her costume, which consisted of a top made of ivy leaves and a black wig that appeared red at the ends.

The sheriff’s office has also released a sketch of a man that they say was last seen with Bruck near where cars were parked outside of the party. The man was believed to have dark hair, a thin mustache and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

PHOTO: A sketch of a man who was last seen with Chelsea Bruck, early Oct. 26, 2014.

Monroe County Sheriffs Office

PHOTO: A sketch of a man who was last seen with Chelsea Bruck, early Oct. 26, 2014.

Originally from:

Woman Vanishes Following Halloween Party

Woman, 22, Goes Missing After Halloween Party Dressed as Poison Ivy

A young woman who vanished after an early Halloween party last weekend was last seen in a parking lot with a man who has a black moustache and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, police said.

Chelsea Ellen Bruck was last seen leaving the party between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Sunday while dressed as the Batman character Poison Ivy.

Police in Monroe County, which is located in southeast Michigan, have issued a missing persons poster showing the normally blonde 22-year-old wearing her costume, which consisted of a top made of ivy leaves and a black wig that appeared red at the ends.

The sheriff’s office has also released a sketch of a man that they say was last seen with Bruck near where cars were parked outside of the party. The man was believed to have dark hair, a thin mustache and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

See the article here:  

Woman, 22, Goes Missing After Halloween Party Dressed as Poison Ivy

poison ivy • The itchiest plant in the forest

poison ivy • The itchiest plant in the forest – Tri-County Times: News For Fenton, Linden, Holly MI

Link to article:  

poison ivy • The itchiest plant in the forest

Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies

Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies

poison ivy allergies bee stings

GENESEE COUNTY, MI – The warm weather and sunshine finally
seem to be showing up more frequently these days.

Being outdoors and taking advantage of the springtime
weather is great, but this time of the year also brings worries of sunburn, bee stings, poison ivy and allergies.

Health officials in Genesee County have some advice on the springtime
topics and offer some tips about staying comfortable outside:

Sunburns

No, it’s not summer yet. But once the snow melts and the sun
starts to shine, it’s time to think about being protected from the sun, said Dr.
Robert Soderstrom, a Flint Township dermatologist.

People haven’t had to worry about sun exposure all winter,
so oftentimes they forget to worry about it when the weather first starts to
get nice, he said.

“As people go into the spring and summer, we caution people
about sun exposure. People forget,” Soderstrom said. “People have gone months
without any exposure. It doesn’t take much sun for people to burn sometimes.”

From the first of May to the end of September, people should
think about sun protection, he said. Wearing hats, covering up the skin with
clothing and using a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF are ways to protect again
the sun.

As more people begin running, biking and exercising outside,
it’s best to get out before 10 a.m. or after 2 or 3 p.m., when the sun is not at its peak in the sky, Soderstrom said.

“No sunburn is safe,” he said. “A lot of it is just common
sense. We ask people to keep it in mind.”

Bee stings

This is the time that bees start waking up, but a single
sting with minor swelling isn’t anything to worry about, local physicians said.

If someone, however, starts to have trouble breathing, they
become dizzy, get hives or their tongue starts swelling up, then emergency care
is needed right away, said Dr. Gerald Natzke, a Flint Township environmental
medicine specialist.

If the sting causes pain, itching or some swelling, it is
suggested to use Calamine lotion or take Benadryl.

Baking soda mixed with water is an old trick to help with
the itch from a bee sting. One trick some may not know is you can make a
similar paste with meat tenderizer and water, Natzke said.

“Bee venom is a protein. It can be denatured by using the
meat tenderizers,” he said.

Poison Ivy

poison ivy
Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies

Living in Michigan,
knowing what poison ivy looks like is important, Soderstrom said.

“Poison ivy is an epidemic in Michigan. It is everywhere. It
starts out this type of year as a low-growing weed and then begins vining up in
the summertime,” he said.

Eastern poison ivy is typically a hairy, ropelike vine with
three shiny green (or red in the fall) leaves budding from one small stem,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Western
poison ivy is typically a low shrub with three leaves that does not form a
climbing vine. It may have yellow or green flowers and white to green-yellow or
amber berries.

Soderstrom said it’s known for its three leaves.

Poison ivy, however, is not just found in the woods, he
said. People can come in contact with it while gardening, in a park, off in the
weeds or climbing up a tree or house, he said.

While some people will be unaffected when coming into
contact with poison ivy, others will be greatly affected after only a short
exposure to it, Soderstrom said.

A poison ivy reaction often shows as a rash or blisters in a
straight line and it takes about 24 to 48 hours to really break out. The rash
will get worse within the first few days before it gets better, and it can take
about two or three weeks to completely clear up, he said.

Over-the-counter medication, like Calamine lotion, will help
with the itching, but if it blisters, people need prescription medicine,
Soderstrom said.

Poison ivy contact really starts picking up in the
middle of May and grows rather dramatically in the summer. If people know they
are going to be in weeded areas or the woods, they should wear long sleeves
and pants, he said.

Once someone realizes they’ve been in contact with poison
ivy, they should shower and soap up within 30 minutes, Soderstrom said. Poison
ivy cannot be spread from one person to another, but it can be spread off the clothing
the person was wearing if they are not washed right after contact.

Allergies

Believe it or not, allergy season has already began, said
Natzke.

Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies

Trees are releasing pollen and have been for
a while, he said. Grass allergies won’t be far away, along with mold allergies.

“We have a lot of trees in this area, so it’s real common to
have tree-sensitive individuals,” Natzke said. “It’s going to come out full
force here in the next few weeks.”

Shortness of breath, coughing, watery and itchy eyes and
runny nose are all signs of allergies. If allergies to pollen or grass are not
an issue, spring is a great time to open the windows and air out the house to
let chemicals out and fresh air in, Natzke said.

If allergies are a problem, opening the windows might make
it worse, so Natzke suggested getting an air purifier.

With spring just beginning, it might be a good time to talk
with a physician about the best ways to control allergies, he said.

Medications are good for people who have mild to moderate
allergies for a short period of time, Natzke said. There is nasal spray
available to get some of the pollen and mold out of the nose.

“Allergies are getting worse and getting more prevalent,”
Natzke said, noting that decreased immune systems have a lot to do with it. “Put
yourself in a healthier place, by reducing stressers and improving their sleep
habits, exercise and reducing exposure to toxins.”

Exposure to chemicals from things such as potent household
cleaners, pesticides and smoke and wood burning stoves increase the potential
for the development allergies. As the warmer
weather encourages spring cleaning and painting, Natzke advised people to be
cautious of the products they use.

Rabies

Although it’s not common in the area, springtime is a good
time to be aware of the disease.

Rabies is a viral disease that is usually transmitted from animal
to animal, but can also infect humans as a result of an animal bite, according
to the Genesee County Health Department’s website.

People are out
and about and playing, they could come certainly in contact with certain type
of animals and animals that may appear wild or have abnormal behavior and can
be bitten,” said Dr. Gary Johnson, Genesee County Health Department medical
director. “Just be on the lookout for any type of animal that looks (and acts)
strangely.”

Animals most affected by rabies are wild animals such as
skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats. Domestic animals – usually unvaccinated cats
and dogs – can also spread the virus, according to the website.

Johnson said people should not try to capture a wild animal
they think is affected with rabies. If bitten by a wild animal, the individual
should call their primary health care provider or visit an emergency room.

For more information about rabies and what to do if bitten,
visit the Genesee County Health Department’s website.

Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies

Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies
Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies
Get ready for spring with tips and advice on sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, allergies

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