Meeting Karen Lutz was one of the first gems in the story. Karen was like a den mother watching over a bunch of 15 year olds. She giggled often as she said, “well you will just love our week in Shepherdstown, WV”. A great leader, Karen laid the bread crumbs for us to follow on our first cohort meeting in Virginia. Meeting Betty Gatewood was another special part of that first weekend together. She reminded us to open our eyes and see the world from a different color, and connect those colors to writing. Nature journaling – stop, draw the beautiful things we see as we walk the path and write notes. A simple lesson I have used many times since with my students on our hikes and field trips.
All the new relationships-Cody, Tyler, Megan, David, Jill, John, Donna, Rebekah, and Karen -- I can’t wait to see what we do with our work! And deepening of our friendships - Pia and Kim you are such amazing people and teachers!
One of the great takeaways from that weekend for us from 7Gen was learning about the Leave No Trace Principles. We all realized sitting in that conference room that while we hike and use the outside as a context for learning, our students didn’t practice these principles, didn’t even know them. And Kim connected it all. She did the work and the creative process of developing an easy approach to teaching the curriculum for our students, teachers and 7Gen. It was an exciting beginning!
The week at the National Convention Center was over the top—meeting new people, incredibly talented people that came together to share their lives and stories. All of it was centered around making connections for kids to the Appalachian trail. It was a truly amazing experience.
Our last weekend in New Jersey at the Mohican Outdoor Center Lodge was probably the most memorable of all three weekends as we came together to share ideas, work and humor! Love you MidAtlantic Cohort! The Mohican Center was a warm place, where we all packed into a space that was fairly intimate. Meeting Estelle Ruppert, who wrote a book I have been using in my classroom --PA Land Choices and taking a beautiful hike were some of my highlights. But the best part was sitting around a fire, telling stories. And yes, I really did do all that stuff! It was a perfect ending to a wonderful series of workshops.