Monday, December 17, 2012

Summit Charter School Does it Again!

Summit Charter School, in Cashiers, NC, continues to utilize its TTEC curricula, and this year they focused on service projects along the A.T. in the Standing Indian area.  Last fall, Summit built an informational kiosk at the Rock Gap Shelter.  This kiosk is maintained by students from all grades at the school and serves hikers with information on the flora, fauna, and resources of the area, and information about the school. 
From year to year, all classes K-8 rotate displays and help maintain the kiosk at the shelter using topics that are covered in the respective grades’ place-based curriculum.  These may include such things as identification of trees, flowers, and salamanders, as well as, examples of local cultural heritage, excerpts from student nature journals, artwork, and poetry for hikers to enjoy and learn from.  Funds from the NC license plate grant are used to purchase camping equipment such as tents and lanterns that will enhance the students’ experiences and be extremely useful to the continued development of Summit Charter School’s place-based program. 
 In September the 8th grade visited the A.T. on a field excursion as “Citizen Scientists” to collect data on the quality of the water at various streams and springs along the trail.  This will be the sixth consecutive year that Summit Charter School has partnered with the Nantahala Hiking Club in order to assist the organization with their participation in the World Water Monitoring program. The students conduct water quality tests at six specific sites where A.T. hikers typically refill drinking water.   Other activities students experience during this field trip include a salamander diversity program.  Students discuss salamanders as indicator species and their importance to the unique temperate rainforest habitat of Western North Carolina as they collect data on species abundance and diversity in streams where water is tested.  The students visit several A.T. shelters, read and add to journal entries, learn Leave No Trace ethics, hike for several miles on the A.T., visit the Albert Mountain Fire Tower, and interact with hikers.  The data collected, information learned, and reflections on their experience will be placed in the kiosk along with information from other Summit students for the fall season. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hot Springs Discovery Quest

TTEC Teachers developed a Quest for Hot Springs, NC. Next time you're in town, be sure and take this fun adventure!

So just what is a quest, you say?
A treasure hunt of sorts you play.

In each rhyming verse is found
A.T. lore about this Trail Town.

Count the shapes with A.T. inside
And they will lead you as a guide.

To facts, legends, history, and more
All that the A.T. has in store.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cartoogechaye 4th Grade Enjoys Fall Colors on the AT.

On October 19, 2012 the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC), the Franklin, NC based Appalachian Trail (A.T.) maintaining club, provided 8 hike leaders to support Cartoogechaye’s annual hike to Siler Bald.

Over 70 students and parents participated on the hike from Wayah Crest to Siler Bald and return on the A.T.  The field trip introduced hiking as a life look health living activity.  On the hike students learned about various plants and trees and the work required to maintain the A.T . (the “Peoples Trail”) as a primitive hiking trail. 

Prior to the hike the NHC gave a presentation to the students on the history of the A.T., the preparations needed for a day hike ( and the principles of Leave No Trace (

The outreach to our local schools provided by the NHC is part of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Trail to Every Classroom program.  The program’s key tenants are place based education, service learning and volunteerism.  To learn more about local hiking and volunteer opportunities to care for America’s first National Scenic Trail, which is literally in our backyard, visit or on Facebook.   

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On Oct 16th the Grayson County High School ECO club hiked on the AT at Grayson Highlands State Park with the Mt. Rogers Trail Club.  In the past, the club has helped with trail maintenance, but this time the hike was for Fun!  The students sang and played word games along the way as we hiked at Massey Gap north on the AT to Wilson Creek. The weather was cold and windy on the way up but once we got in the woods, it was pleasant hiking weather. Carol Broderson with the Mt. Rogers Trail club prepared an activity for the students which involved finding what type of trash took the longest to decompose. The students thought hard during this activity and learned a lot about how long certain pieces of trash stay in our environment.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Safe From Sandy

Hurricane Sandy will have major impacts on the A.T. particularly in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England states. If you had planned to hike this week, postpone your plans. If you are hiking now, leave the Trail and seek shelter in a sound structure. Use extreme caution during and following the storm. Impacts from flooding and tree damage from high winds are likely to be extensive. Small stream crossings will become extremely hazardous with rainfall exceeding 12-inches in some locations. Emergency response may be delayed or nonexistent due to heavily taxed resources and access issues. Cell and electronic communications may not be available for an extended period. In some areas of the Trail, users should be prepared for the potential of snow accumulation that could hinder foot travel and hasten the threat for hypothermia or frostbite. For the most up-to-date information visit

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Power of TTEC

By Kate Weinman Fisher, Teacher Librarian at Upward Elementary School, Flat Rock, NC, TTEC Alum ‘08

Jan Onan and Kate Fisher at Bear Mountain, Harriman State Park, NY.
  Photo by Karen Lutz

I recently moved a 3600 lb. granite boulder 15 feet using a stick. Really. This is no fish story, although one of my team members tried to exaggerate. Okay, maybe I need to say that the stick is also called a rock bar.  I was working with another educator and our instructor from Tahawus Trails LLC at the most recent Trails to Every Classroom Alumni workshop on Bear Mountain in New York State. The focus of the weekend was Trail Design and Construction and included actual work on the Appalachian Trail.  We used simple machine physics – the kind I can teach my elementary students. This experience is just one of the many that has shown me the power of TTEC and released the power that I have to make things happen when I join with others.
I first heard of TTEC in 2007 when I was working with kids to map our school campus.  Our counselor said, “I have something that can help you with that.”  She had just returned from NCCAT (North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching) where the first cohort of TTEC teachers from the southern region had gathered. At that point, I thought the AT was something for elite thru- hikers, but I still felt that I wanted to be a part of the next year’s TTEC group and recruited two teachers who also enjoyed hiking.  We met with Julie Judkins, our regional ATC representative in Asheville to find out how we could make this happen.
By April 2008, we had been accepted into the program and met teachers from Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina at Len Foote Hike Inn near Springer Mountain, GA.  We returned with more energy and ideas than I have had in decades. In no time we helped to design and implement a Nature Explorers’ Camp for 8-10 year old children based on Questing[i]. The camp, held at Bullington Education Center for a week each summer, has changed slightly but is still going 4 years later. 
In July that same year, we met 40 more educators representing the 14 states linked by the AT. The week-long professional development featured nationally known experts in the fields of environmental education and service learning and was fueled by the energy and ideas of passionate colleagues. My team began work on curriculum for 3rd grade students, a “Plant Patrol” of invasive non-native plants in our community and on the AT, less than an hour from our school.  When we implemented the curriculum later that year, students consulted local horticultural experts and focused on the most troublesome species.  They engaged in three service projects to remove Japanese Knotweed, Chinese Silvergrass and Autumn Olive at our local horticultural education center and on the AT near Hot Springs, NC.  The trip to Hot Springs and the brochure the kids designed for our school and community were made possible by a grant from the ATC.  Sixty students had their first opportunity to walk on the AT, meet a real thru-hiker, and engage in a meaningful community service project that day.  Many of them formed dreams of hiking the AT and returned to school to write letters to AT hikers which were placed in the Hot Springs diner. Hikers who read the letters at the diner wrote responses and 4 years later, this notebook is still a favorite read in my school library. One of the 3rd grade teachers involved moved to a charter school the next year and has replicated and expanded the project to the point where her students camp at Hot Springs each year while engaging in community service on the trail.
Third grade students digging up Autumn Olive roots as part of "Plant Patrol" service project.  Photo by Jan Onan

Our fall TTEC meeting was at Elmer’s Sunnybrook Inn in Hot Springs, NC.  I suppose it was then that I fell in love with this tiny trail community and its people.  I learned about Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery, the history of the AT, and experienced the power and satisfaction of volunteering on the Trail on National Public Lands Day. I also had my first experience with Trail Magic, something that is impossible for me to explain but involved bagpipes, the symbolism of a red bridge, and the feeling that I was part of something magnificent. 

3 Kate Fisher and Julie Judkins taking out Japanese Knotweed along the AT near Hot Springs, NC.

4 Trail Magic appeared at our closing ceremony in Hot Springs, NC as we contemplated our role in the future of the AT.

To say that these TTEC experiences inspired me is an understatement.  Jen Pharr Davis had just completed her first record breaking AT supported thru-hike.  I contacted her and arranged to have her visit our school for a whole day and kick off the biggest school event I have ever organized.  That evening, over 300 family members arrived for family night.  We began in the gym where she told about her thru-hike using a slide presentation.  After that, everyone proceeded out to the foyer to pick up a Trail Diary prepared by our Parent Involvement Coordinator. This included puzzles, facts, rules of the trail, and questions about the 6 learning stations spread out along our main hallway. Between them were brown poster board cylinders marked with white blazes. Families spread out and rotated through stations that represented each of the 5 AT regions (Northern New England, Southern New England, Kid-Atlantic, The Virginias, and our own, the Southern Appalachians).  Julie Judkins, from the Asheville ATC office, supplied the AT Journey magazines used to create the display boards, a large AT license plate banner, AT tattoos, and a large Katahdin sign for the last station where students could have their photo made with Jen Pharr Davis. Our Carolina Mountain Club and local outfitter Diamond Brand provided displays of books, backpacking equipment, and volunteers, who were available to talk with students and their families.
5 Families learning about the 5 regions of the AT during Upward Elementary Family Event

6 AT Family Night display in foyer at Upward Elementary, Flat Rock, NC

7 Jen Pharr Davis gives students the "high 5" after a presentation about goal setting and her record-breaking hike.
In the month leading up to this event, I worked with PTO and our entire staff to plan a 21 day AT Read-a-thon where kids earned miles for minutes read.  Each class picked a trail name and we prepared spreadsheets to record individual student minutes and one to calculate their class average.  As a part of the TTEC program, I received a 3 x 15 foot map of the AT to hang in my library.  We used the map to teach geography and to show the reading/hiking progress of each class. Every day, selected students read about a point of interest during morning announcements.  In all of my K-5th grade library classes, I taught our Reading, Information & Technology Standards using information about the AT and the Southern Appalachians.  Over 600 students learned about the trail as we integrated reading, history, science and cultural studies. 
They also learned about resources in their local community, as well as the wider community of outdoor education. Leki donated youth hiking poles as prizes for the top two readers, and we obtained other support from individual CMC members, including a visit by one of our trail maintainers. REI also funded a visit by long distance hiker, Walkin’ Jim, who gave special performances to the classes and individuals who read the most at the end of the Read-a-thon.

8 TTEC Team member Jan Onan, Julie Judkins from the ATC Asheville office, and Walkin' Jim Stolz at our AT Read-a-thon Celebration

Support came from far and wide and we believe the impact was also far reaching. Our two month focus on the AT was featured in the Henderson County Public Schools Superintendent’s newsletter that April, reaching the families of approximately 14,000 students.
Since that time, our TTEC team has been privileged to attend yearly TTEC workshops as presenters, volunteer at local ATC events, and continue exploring the AT on and off the trail.  Jan Onan attended the Youth Summit in New Hampshire last summer, and we both contributed to a resource designed for hiking with families. 

9 Kate Weinman Fisher and Jan Onan at the Hot Springs, NC Visitor Center

In this, the 5th year of TTEC, we made new and renewed connections with educators who have been involved in the last four years.   Alumni workshops have helped us discover new ways to serve our students and communities.  Jan and I attended the spring workshop with Delia Clarke and worked with other TTEC alumni to design The Guardians of the Grayson Highlands Quest, an educational treasure hunt through which visitors learn about the natural history of the park. Then we came back and worked with Julie Judkins and Jeannette Kendall, a 4th grade teacher in Hot Springs, NC to design a quest for that Trail Community.  This summer we worked with a Teacher/Park Ranger at the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site right here in Flat Rock to design another quest for park visitors.
Moving mountains, not quite. . . but I can move something larger and farther than I ever thought possible and it isn’t just a boulder. My hope is that I will continue to move and inspire the next generation of hikers, stewards, and supporters of the AT.  This is the power of TTEC.

[i] Clarke, Delia and Steven Glazer. Questing:A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2004.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grant Opportunities!

The Pack Project Activation Grant

Do you have an idea that will increase participation in outdoor recreation activities?
If so, Merrell and Outdoor Nation have an opportunity for you -- The Pack Project Activation Grant Program!

Merrell and Outdoor Nation recognize that sometimes the smallest awards can make the largest differences. For this reason, The Pack Project Activation Grant Program will be awarding a total of $12,500 to a minimum of 5 projects designed to give young individuals between the ages of 18 and 28 or 501c3 non-profit organizations the resources and funding needed to bring their innovation and active ideas to life.
Grants will be awarded to the most innovative, impactful and sustainable projects focusing on increasing outdoor recreation in communities across the country.

The deadline to apply for this second cycle of the grant is November 15, 2012.

More information and application link.

The Dara Jeanne Kaufman Fund

Annual mini grant application for service-learning is available for New England states. (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI and VT)

More information and application link.

If you have NOT been trained in our model of service-learning, would you be willing to attend a FREE ($300 value) 2-day workshop in late November or early December? Sessions will be offered in Maine and Massachussetts. If your proposal is selected for judging, we will contact you about specific dates and locations.

DEADLINE TO APPLY is: October 18, 2012

Who May Apply: K-12 classrooms, after-school programs, or community-based programs that wish to use service-learning in order to solve a problem and improve their community. We will accept proposals from students, teachers, and community

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Alumni Workshop in New York- Thanks from Jan!

Jan Onan and Kate Fisher 
I just returned from the fall ATC TTEC alumni workshop in New York’s Harriman Park.  I am quite fired up about the amount of knowledge I learned and the hands-on activities in the 2 short days about trail design. The instructors were top notch; not only accomplished in their trade (volunteer or paid) but also patient skilled teachers. I think each of the participants felt they successfully contributed to the reconstruction of the AT on Bear Mountain and can bring this new knowledge and enthusiasm home to share with those in the classroom and in our communities.  I have already started a dialogue with the Carolina Mountain Club!

Lissa McGovern, Nina Christensen and Stephanie Morris 
Thank you, ATC, for providing everything we need once we arrived. For Kate and I, this included the outdoor gear we needed which enabled us to fly from NC without the worry of having to pack the extra gear. It streamlined our transition from work to travel without the hassle of having bags to be checked or to purchase extra equipment. It is a blessing to only have to bring our personal items and know we will be taken care of during the workshop. 
Nina Christensen 
Eddie Walsh teaches slope and grade

I know a lot of planning goes into making this workshop and my hat goes off to Karen Lutz and those who participated in all parts of preparing and carrying this workshop out for us. Thank you for provided the much needed workshops that rekindles the fire that keeps us enthusiastic about sharing the wonders of the outdoors and all that can be learned from it.

Ross McGee
My team has been involved in the TTEC program since 2008 when we first went through the program.  Since then, we have been privileged to be able to present and participate in our TTEC regional workshops and feel a great sense of renewal by invaluable reconnecting with TTEC, new teachers, and learning more skills. 

 Thank You!
Jan Onan, TTEC alumni 2008

Friday, October 5, 2012

Opportunity for Teachers

Lexus and Scholastic Launch Sixth Annual Environmental Contest for Middle and High School Students

A program of automaker Lexus and children's publishing company Scholastic, the Lexus Eco Challenge is an educational program and contest designed to inspire and empower middle and high school students in the United States to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. In its sixth year, the program will award a total of $500,000 in grants and scholarships.
The competition is open to students in grades 6-12 who are either registered and home-schooled or enrolled in a public or accredited private school, and who are legal residents of the U.S. or the District of Columbia. Teams of students can enter if they are part of an afterschool science or environmental club, but the challenge is not open to clubs outside of school.
Middle and high school teams comprised of five to ten students and a teacher-advisor are invited to participate in one or both of the two initial challenges, each addressing different environmental elements — land/water and air/climate.
For each of the challenges, teams define an environmental issue that is important to them, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan, and report the results. The submission deadline for Challenge 1 (land/water) is October 29, 2012; the deadline for Challenge 2 (air/climate) is December 17, 2012.
Each of the challenges will have sixteen winning entries — eight middle school and eight high school teams. The winning teams each will receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships and grants to be shared among the students, teacher, and school.
In early January, the winning teams from the first two challenges will be invited to participate in the program's final challenge. Teams will be asked to reach beyond the local community and inspire environmental action around the world through innovative ideas that are communicated to a wide audience. From the final challenge entries, eight first-place teams and two grand prize-winning teams will be selected. Each of the eight first-place teams will receive a total of $15,000 in grants and scholarships, and two grand prize-winning teams will each receive $30,000. The money will be shared by the students, their teacher-advisors, and their schools.
For complete program information and entry requirements, visit the Eco Challenge Web site.

Primary Subject: Education
Geographic Funding Area: National

Friday, September 7, 2012

A.T. Community Blog

Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to make sure that you knew about the OTHER fun blog we have for our A.T. Community program:

Check out the recent post there about the student displays - which drew in the crowds at the Blairsville Heritage Festival!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Youth Service America and UnitedHealthcare Offer Grants for Service-Learning Projects to Combat Childhood Obesity

This might be a great way to get funding for your TTEC project!

Youth Service America and UnitedHealthcare are inviting schools and other community-based nonprofit organizations to "step into service" by applying for UnitedHealth HEROES grants.
Grants of up to $1,000 are available for youth-led service-learning projects that aim to combat childhood obesity through walking, running, or hiking. Project proposals must include an activity element where young people can count their steps, as well as a service component that provides direct service, enables advocacy on behalf of a cause, or features youth philanthropy.
Service-learning projects are projects that engage young people in performing meaningful service to the community as they gain new knowledge about the issue they are addressing (childhood obesity), and acquire important college, career, and workforce readiness skills in the process.

Read more here.

Deadline - October 15th

Monday, August 6, 2012

Susquenita Teachers Hit the Trail!

The group on the Darlington Trail, criss-crossing Cumberland & Perry Counties.
On Wednesday, July 25th, 27 teachers from Susquenita School took to the Appalachian Trail in Perry County! Susquenita Middle School civics teacher and Trail to Every Classroom alum Paul Marth did an awesome job coordinating three group hikes and providing outdoor education materials for an In-Service Day in Susquenita’s “backyard.” While taking breathers along the trek, readings from both Bill Bryon’s A Walk in the Woods and Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods added to the experience in highlighting the benefits of direct exposure to nature for children and the Appalachian Trail as a resource and outdoor classroom.

ATC staff were able to join the teachers in their hikes traversing Cove and Kittatinny Mountains. One group did 5 miles on the Darlington Trail and Appalachian Trail from the ridge of Kittatinny Mountain to PA-850 and two groups hiked 7 miles from the PA-850 parking area, up Cove Mountain, and then down into Duncannon. The path was well-blazed thanks to Susquenita efforts earlier in the year
The group at Hawk Rock

Check out more photos and information on all of the great things A.T. Community Duncannon, PA is doing to better connect the community and the A.T.! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Alumni Summer Workshop

 Hike Leadership and Wilderness First Aid
Advisory Council on Mt Willard
We had a fantastic week with TTEC alumni and AT Club members in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire.  The week started with the TTEC Advisory Council meeting where we discussed the future of the program including graduate credit, alumni opportunities, and deepening club and teacher connections.  Sunday evening, 53 participants arrived at AMC’s Highland Center and we had an informal social meet and greet.   It was great to see alumni from the past 6 years of TTEC and representatives from all 14 states along the Trail.  Monday morning started bright and early with welcoming remarks, introductions and the Advisory Council sharing what they’ve been up to.  We also had a very successful Carousel Activity where alumni and club members shared ideas, resources and successes.  Check out the results here! 
Wilderness First Aid Training

Before lunch, we quickly shifted into Wilderness First Aid mode and by the end of the day we all had made splints and slings for various mock scenarios.  Monday evening was an optional CPR training and Tuesday continued the Wilderness First Aid training; helping alumni gain confidence in taking their students outside.  Tuesday evening, the AMC hosted a special Astronomy program for us!  We all had an opportunity to play with various iPad apps

Greenleaf Hut
 and  realized how small we really are!  Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated to Hike Leadership training, focusing on trip planning, incident management and decision making.  Thursday afternoon the group split into two, one hiking to Lonesome Lake Hut, while the other headed up to Greenleaf Hut.   During the hikes, we split into smaller groups and shared activities to do with students along the trail.  From learning  to count in Cherokee to nature discovery, this bunch was filled with a variety of knowledge and great ideas.  The weather was perfect and several from the Lonesome Lake group enjoyed a swim, while a few Greenleafers summited Mt Lafayette.  Everyone was sad to leave the huts and hike back down Friday morning, but we ended the week sharing our favorite parts and ideas for making it even better in the future.  All in all it was an awesome week, and we look forward to continuing to provide alumni opportunities in the future!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More Alumni Pictures

For more pictures from the Spring Alumni Workshop, go to ATC's flikr account here:

Thank you Jan Onan for these great pictures!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Alumni Workshop 2012

Learning about phenology at Konnarock Base Camp
 We had a great first alumni workshop May 4-6, 2012.  Nineteen participants from North Carolina to Virginia gathered at the Konnarock Trail Crew Basecamp in Sugar Grove, Virginia.  The group included teachers from the past 5 years of the TTEC program and club members from Piedmont Appalachian Trail Hikers, Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club, Carolina Mountain Club and Nantahala Hiking Club.  The jam-packed weekend was facilitated by Questing extraordinaire and long time TTEC instructor, Delia Clark.
Delia in our outdoor classroom

Friday evening we had some fun activities to get to know each other better and practice our story telling skills!  We did a recap of Questing 101 to refresh our memories on the taxonomy of a Quest and get our creative juices flowing for the big task ahead.  We also learned about phenology and how we can monitor a tree at our school or on the A.T. nearby!  Luckily, most of us went to bed early because Saturday was a big day.  We started the morning with a delicious 7am breakfast, packed our trail lunches and hit the road.  We traveled to Grayson Highlands State Park, where we met up with several local experts.  Kevin Kelly, the Chief Ranger at the state park, gave us a welcome and overview of the park and it's history.  He explained the open balds and the well known wild ponies of this area.  We then walked over to check out one of ATC phenology monitoring sites and learned about the protocol for observing a red spruce and red maple.  From there we headed up the Rhododendron Trail, learning about various trees, berries and wildflowers on our way up.  When we hit the Appalachian Trail, Anne of the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club shared information about the Trail and the work the club does to keep it in such good shape!  We also talked briefly about Leave No Trace. 
Fred and Roald sharing stories on top of Wilburn Ridge

Next, we headed over to a great rock formation where we climbed up to take in the view of Wilburn Ridge and learned about geology of the area from Fred, a local high school teacher and geology guru.  We ate our lunch on the rocks and continued to hear from Roald, the former park interpreter and local area expert, who shared some interesting stories and local legends.  We could have listened to him talk forever... but had to continue back down the trail to head to the Cabin Creek!
Scott teaching about "waterbugs" and water quality

Scott, from the Blue Ridge Discovery Center had set up a station for us to examine some of the macroinvertebrates he'd found in the tributary to the Cabin Creek that flowed next to the trail.   We looked under a microscope at mayflies and stoneflies before continuing along the trail with Eleanor and Carol, to learn about the beautiful wildflowers in bloom this time of year.  We saw trillium, bluets, wood anemones and more!  After returning to Massie Gap, we thanked our local experts for sharing all of their great knowledge and got to work on creating our Quest.  We decided to call it "Guardians of Grayson Highlands State Park".  We thought it would be a great way to present all of the unique and beautiful natural history of the area, and share with visitors what they can do to protect it for generations to come.

Pairs working on rhymes and clues
We created 9 stopping points along the trail and split up into teams to create rhymes that would teach the visitor something at each point and then a create a clue to get them to the next point.  They will have to collect a letter at each stop, which will eventually give them the final clue, so they can find our stamp to mark their Quest complete!  The rhyming and creativity among the group was amazing!  We worked and worked, editing and sharing and eating pizza in the park!  Then, we headed back to basecamp to share the entire Quest aloud.  Everyone was blown away with how great it sounded!  Several volunteers plan to "test" the Quest in the next few weeks, and then we'll finalize it and officially present it to Grayson Highlands State Park for all visitors to enjoy!  We all used carving tools and erasers to create our individual Questing stamps, and spent Sunday morning sharing our TTEC successes and challenges and took some time to journal about both.  It was great to see alumni reinvigorated and excited to continue their great work with students along the Appalachian Trail.  Thanks to everyone who made it happen!!!

The group at Massie Gap in Grayson Highlands State Park

Happy Trails!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Welcome Clare!!

Meet Clare Long! Clare is the Conservation Education specialist with the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), and has been a lead instructor for the TTEC program since 2007. She will now be the agency lead for the TTEC program in partnership ATC staff! Clare will also supervise the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher position in the WMNF and assist with the Community Partnership program in New England. We are so excited to welcome Clare to Appalachian Trail team! Look for her smiling face at the Summer Workshop this July!

Monday, February 6, 2012

2012 Alumni Workshops!!!

APPLY TODAY for three great workshops we're offering to Trail to Every Classroom alumni in 2012!

Alumni workshops will provide an immersive experience where placed-based service learning content and pedagogy are explored in more depth, continuing to build upon the skills you learned in the original three workshops. These new professional development sessions are being offered this year to serve as a space to revisit key curricular topics and further develop the capacity of teachers to provide quality instruction to students along the Appalachian Trail.
The workshops are not cumulative and alumni are welcome to apply for one, two or all three in any region. As always, all workshops are offered free of charge and lodging, meals, camping equipment and materials will be provided.

Workshops for 2012:
Spring Workshop: Questing & Natural History in Virginia - May 4-6
Summer Workshop: Wilderness First Aid & Hike Leadership in New Hampshire - July 15-20
Fall Workshop: Trail Construction & Design in New York - October 5-7

Alumni are encouraged to attend the SUMMER workshop with a club member from their local A.T. maintaining club. If you're a club member who is interested in attending the Summer Workshop, team up with an alumni and sign up or pass this along to someone in your club who may be interested! Club members are welcome to join the spring and fall workshops as well.


Learn more about these workshops and APPLY here.

We look forward to reconnecting with you 2012!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Maroons on the Trail!

The Maroons on the Trail, a newly formed outdoor club at Scott Memorial Middle School, headed out for their first adventure this week! The club contains 28 members and 9 of them attended the first outting and completed a training in Leave No Trace. They also spent time studying the different types of plants that survive through winter, and discussed why that may be. Ages ranged from 8-13. Several parents attended to help TTEC Alumni, Jon Kidd and his co-teacher have a successful event. They're already planning their next outing to Dismal Falls at the end of February or beginning of March!

Happy Trails Maroons!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Report:Benefits of Place-Based Education

A report from the Place-Based Education Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC), partners who evaluate TTEC programs:

North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald