Mohr's Explorers is an outdoor program, so it is important to always be prepared for any type of weather. Before heading to school for the day, please check the daily forecast and make sure to pack appropriate clothing. This is our 15th winter in which we have been taking groups of kids into the park. Snow will not keep us indoors and the weather will not be an issue as long your Explorers come properly prepared for the day's weather.
With that, please assume we will always go outside and try to get in the habit of checking the weather forecast with your child on Mohr's Explorers' mornings. If rain is even a slight possibility at any point in the day, pack a rain jacket -- we WILL be outside in light to moderate rain. Umbrellas are not recommended; rain jackets keep your hands free! If it is pouring, we may do activities under a bridge or archway in the park, use an available facility at your school (not always an option) or even try to go to a nearby museum for a nature-themed scavenger hunt. But please never assume that we will be indoors and always prepare for the weather accordingly. At worst, we may have to walk a couple of blocks to get to a bridge in the park, a nearby museum or the subway, so we will likely be out in the rain to some degree regardless. If there is snow, just dress your child as you would for a day of skiing.
On warmer days, shorts, t-shirts, etc. are fine. Grass and dirt stains are the norm, so it is suggested to wear suitable clothing. Sneakers or hiking shoes are best. Dress shoes or open-toed shoes (like flip flops or Teva's) are not great for this program. We are on foot a lot, making our way throughout all different parts of the park, hiking through the woods and on all different types of surfaces -- the wrong shoes can cause mishaps in the field and ruin their day. Also, if your child wears a school uniform or nicer clothes to school, send alternatives to anything that you do not want getting dirty.
To keep everyone safe, anyone who is not properly prepared for the day's weather may not be allowed to attend that day and if too many are unprepared, that could result in the whole group having to stay indoors, which we do not want to do if we don't have to! Examples are short socks and sneakers when there are several inches of snow, shorts or t-shirts in frigid temperatures, etc. (yes, it has all happened before!) In the winter, whenever there is snow or anytime the weather dips below 45°, your child will need to be prepared with the following items:
- Winter coat: This may seem obvious, but a nice, warm coat is essential.
- Winter hat: One that covers the ears.
- Waterproof gloves for snow: The thin, cotton/wool/knit/fleece-type gloves are fine in regular cold weather, but hands and fingers get extremely cold once they become wet with snow, which can equal a very bad day. However, these are great for extra warmth as a layer under your snow gloves!
- Winter boots (required in snow): If you're not sure if there is snow, always pack boots in the winter (waterproof are best). They are great for warmth on cold days and much better than sneakers. Low-cut boots are not recommended -- snow will seep in. If the snow is ankle-height or more, anyone in footies or short socks and sneakers will not be allowed to attend. Wet feet plus cold weather can also equal a miserable afternoon.
- Layers of clothing: Snow pants, a sweatshirt or fleece under the coat, long johns, thermals, Under Armour, extra shirts, extra pants over tights/leggings and two pairs of socks (strongly recommended; especially if you do not have proper snow boots).
- Scarf: Not only will it keep your child warm, it will also help keep snow out of his/her shirt.
- Please do not be fooled by clear sidewalks! Snow can stay in the park for weeks. If you are ever unsure, you should always pack winter boots throughout the winter session, just in case. They also work well when it's muddy after the snow melts.
- We tend to see girls in only a pair of tights/leggings on the colder days. These are probably fine on most days, but once it gets below maybe 40° or so, these do not do much for warmth. If you can stick a pair of sweatpants, jeans or any type of pants in their bags, then we can make sure they pull them on over their tights before heading out and all will be well.
- We normally try to pack 2-3 extra hats and pairs of gloves for emergencies in case someone forgets to pack them, if a child loses a glove between the morning and the time they get to us, etc., but we do not have enough for the entire group, so it is extremely important to not rely on this and to always put a pair of gloves and a winter hat in their bag on cold and/or snowy days.
- Our general rule is to go through each backpack, make our Explorers wear whatever you have packed and we will of course assist anyone who needs help getting gear on! However, we can only work with what is there, so please remind your kids to actually bring their gear to us at the end of the school day. If they leave it in their classroom and tell us they do not have hats, gloves, etc., then there's not much we can do at that point.