I just got back from West Virginia as a faculty fellow for the Student Climate & Conservation Congress at the US Fish and Wildlife’s National Conservation Training Center. Two of my BDCA students attended this 7 day environmental camp as well. Words can’t explain how special this week was, but I’ll give it a try:
The comedian Pete Dominic opened up the the week with a hilarious act that weaved together comedy and environmentalism. We also heard from Carl Safina (talked of as the “next Rachel Carson”), received an inspirational talk from Juan Martinez about urban gardening, learned how National Geographic photographer Joe Riis followed and documented the pronghorn migration in Wyoming using trip cameras, heard from Steven Guertin (Deputy Director for the US Fish and Wildlife Services), heard BlueGrass music from Travis Book, received a massive amount of ideas and knowledge from Rob Watson (“Father of LEED” certification) and Mitch Joachim (check out his TED talk), and were inspired by the lepidopterist and acclaimed author Robert Michael Pyle.
Students participated in service learning projects about trail restoration and removal of native species, identified native bees, worked in the NCTC labs, did a 10 mile kayak trip down Potomac river, participated in Open Space Technology learning, and received a beautiful ceremony from a Navajo Nation elder around a campfire.
My group of students created a website, RACE Green, and linked it to a Facebook page as a way to help promote positive conservation change in their communities. They also wrote and performed a recycling song (here‘s an audio clip of students practicing).
On the last night, a majority of students spoke emotionally and passionately about how SC3 affected them; it was a life changing experience for all. SC3 is a first class environmental camp run by an amazing group of dedicated educators and professionals.