Entertaining 6th graders

December 18th I finally held my first post-hike presentation to a small yet wonderful group of 6th graders, teachers and guests. I went to my old stomping grounds of Hichborn Middle School in Howland. These attentive and excited youngsters followed me on my journey last spring when they were fourth graders as I hiked the Appalachian Trail. I promised to return. My debut as a “motivational/inspirational” speaker  was a little unnerving to me. I felt like I was getting ready to play in our high school soccer state championship match. Butterflies were fluttering all about in my tummy and to top it all off I was cursed with hot flashes. Phew. Once I cooled off with my water and  got the winged insects flying in formation I was ready for kick off. And just like sports, once that whistle blows everything flows together. In this case once I hit play and the photos started it was pretty much smooth sailing. Just a few hiccups that will be taken care of for my next showcase. My sound track was off a little and not quite in sync with my pics. The main issue was me, I talked too long, really, me, talk to much, never. I had my end time wrong so some students missed the very end. 

I am still having technical difficulties with my blog. If you are seeing the name Patty Reaves as the author, my apologies. I need to get that changed. It should be my name, Emily Leonard. Between time and a lack of tech savvy I am lost on how to fix it. 

More presentations are to come. If you would like to hear in person about my adventure you can book me. Rates can be discussed. Also, I have a friend, Paul Stutzman who hiked the AT and wrote a wonderful book “Hiking Thru”. He also does presentations. Let me know if your group or organization would like to book him and/or me. He is truly inspirational in his writing. He sought the trail for healing after the loss of his wife. 

I can be reached at emilymleonard6@gmail.com

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you enjoy your traditions.  And if time permits, take a hike. 

Happy Hiking. 


Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.