What can I say about the training/classes/excursions provided and hosted by the ATC/TTEC? A visit on Monday to Harper’s Ferry was definitely a highlight; seeing the official ATC headquarters, the midpoint of the Trail, and the waystation (where we met a number of thru-hikers). We did a poetry-clue quest which took us to a number of historic spots in the town (I hadn’t been to Harper’s Ferry since I was a kid, so this was most enjoyable).
Instructional time at the workshop covered practically everything about the AT; its history, the major figures involved in its establishment, expansion, and maintenance, problems facing the AT from encroaching development to overcrowding/behavioral issues stemming from its increasing popularity. We discussed myriad applications for bringing The Trail (and environmental issues in general) to the classroom. On Wednesday and Thursday, we split into different groups; I participated in the Citizen Science in the Classroom group. We did a number of Nature Hikes looking for Fibonacci sequences in plant and mineral structures, sound and smell explorations, multiple journaling/sketching, and an extensive look into the problems caused by invasive species. I learned a lot, and thought about a number of things from new perspectives (I still never found out exactly what this was that I stumbled onto on one of the outlying trails).
Of course, the greatest thing about the conference was reconnecting with the members of the Southern Cohort from our spring meeting at the Hike-Inn, and finally meeting the rest of the TTEC cohorts from the rest of the country. The only negative thing I have to say at all about the workshop at the NCTC this summer was that it came to an end; five days was far too short a time to spend with all of these wonderful and energetic people, even if a lot of them cannot pronounce “Appalachian” correctly (APP-UH-LATCH-UHN). I enjoyed hearing about all the different locales and situations that our people taught and worked in, from large urban traditional high schools, to small, very experimental K-8 schools. I suppose that this is the true indicator of the validity and relevance of the TTEC program; no matter the place and circumstances, we all had something to contribute to the group, and we all brought away new thoughts and visions to take back to our communities.
Thank You All For This Experience