Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hike Inn AT Ambassador to the Schools

Corinne Peace, Katy Trietsch, Leigh Rothermel
The Len Foote Hike Inn
Outside School
Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia

Twigs on Springer Mountain at the completion of his journey
The SOBO’s are arriving at Springer Mountain! Fall is here and as we watch the leaves change and drop, another creature from deep woods emerges from the vibrant colors – SOBO’s! The South Bounders are starting to appear, wild and dirty from their long adventure. Eleven were reveling on October 23 full of emotion and stories. We are fortunate one SOBO, “Twigs”, has stayed with us for several nights working hard in the kitchen along side us. “Twigs” was quite the inspiration for our guests and many commented on how much about the AT they learned from him. His words of wisdom are “Just do it!”

With their completion of the AT is the promise of spring's new beginning and the next group of NOBO’s starting out from Springer Mountain in 2016. The Hike Inn hopes you are excited to “go” with them, as we plan for our A.T. Ambassador to the Schools (ATAS) program we shared at the 2015 TTEC summer institute. We envision connecting the Hike Inn to the ATC’s Trails to Every Classroom participants, through the thru hikers journey.

Leigh Rothermel, a new staff member at the Hike Inn and a NOBO Thru-hiker 2015, is helping to establish the ATAS program. With her unique experience her advice is essential to the Hike Inn’s planning and implementation. Teachers have already sought out Leigh to visit their schools to share her journey with students.

Leigh on McAfee Knob in Virginia
Hikers can benefit from this program by getting kids excited about the Appalachian Trail. They will receive education experience by sharing with students in several ways, options depending on teacher’s preference, include 1) sending post cards to the students along the trail 2) writing blog posts for students to read 3) sending videos of scenic and historical places along the trail 4) visiting the school classroom and sharing their experiences.

Teacher and students can benefit from this program by enhancing interdisciplinary lesson plans and learning from experiential connections on the trail. The classroom can choose to engage with their ‘adopted’ hiker by sending their thru-hiker letters, care packages, and invite ‘their’ hiker to their classroom.

There will be an application process and we will hand pick select hikers interested in participating with your classroom. Only hikers who are truly enthusiastic about getting kids involved in the outdoor community and the Appalachian Trail will be selected.
Hiker Big Easy in Maine
The Hike Inn initiative is to provide support for the collaboration between the hikers and the schools to ensure a successful and enjoyable educational program. The Hike Inn will reach out to hikers through popular Appalachian Trail blogs and our A.T. Ambassador to the Schools Facebook page  ( ) this winter. We look forward to hearing from our 2015 TTEC cohort or alumni’s interest in how you want to participate.

What we need from our TTEC teachers is your interest in this program and which options you want to participate in. Please email Corinne, Katy, and Leigh at to further discuss participation the Hike Inn’s AT Ambassador to the Schools program. You can keep up to date with our exciting new program through our blog site . We look forward to sending spring 2016 trail energy your way!

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North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
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Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald