Monday, July 29, 2013

Breaking Down the Mystery of the A.T.

Post by Sarah McGlothlin Narrows Elementary Middle School 7th Grade Scienced Teacher

As I reflect on the Mountain Lake Trail to Every Classroom workshop, I saw several benefits for myself and coworkers.  First of all, this was my very first time being on the Appalachian Trial even though it is in my own county.  I felt a little overwhelmed by the experience, because I was surrounded by other teachers with far greater experience.  Most of them were experienced hikers, experienced Appalachian Trail day hikers, or Appalachian Trail section hikers.  Before this workshop, I didn't even know what clothes to bring or what type of bag I needed to carry on the hike.  It was a time to learn the basics for me.  I was the one who needed to know what to expect/not expect on the trail, how to prepare for the trail experience, and even how to incorporate it in my school.

Secondly, I learned the trail could be broken down.  It always seemed so expansive and inaccessible for someone with a lack of experience like myself.  I never knew it could be broken down into a day hike and that I could change it into a family event.  Before this, the trail seemed like a get on a one spot and stay on forever journey.  Luckily, since that hike I have learned it breaks down and even connects with other trails..
I also built up the courage to take my family members on a hike.  We made a day of it.  Even though I took them on the exact hike that I was shown at the workshop, I was different due to the confidence I put myself to take on the leader position.  I showed them a part of the trail they had never experienced. 
 In addition, several of the teachers at my school tried to schedule a hike for the children of our grade level during June.  It was not a hike on the Appalachian Trail, but it was a short hike to a lovely waterfall in our area called the Cascades. 
Cascades is located in Pembroke, VA
We had several events planned for the students along the way to keep them occupied, rather than just hiking alone.  We were going to cover how to Leave No Trace, have them complete some tree identification with leaf guides, and several other small tasks.  We felt like it would have been a great trip with some real life SOL benefits.  Mainly, we were focusing on them getting out into their community while practicing the SOL skills that could apply to their life.  Unfortunately, the trip was cancelled due to severe rains that day.  Several of our students were very upset, because they had looked forward to the outdoor activity.  We did have some students who didn't come to school that day, because they did not want to complete the physical activity.  It is our hope that we will be able to do something very similar in the upcoming school year.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More Grant Opportunities

The Florida Office of Environmental Education will be facilitating an informational conference call to all interested applicants of the Southeastern Regional Mini-grants on July 19, 2013. The call is from 10:30-11:30am. We encourage you and others who may be interested or have any questions about the Regional Mini-grants to join in this call.

Number: 1-888-670-3525
Code: 6486457250

Kids In Need Teacher Grants Help Teachers Realize Their Dreams

Kids In Need Teacher Grants provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for their students. The Kids In Need Foundation helps to engage students in the learning process by supporting our most creative and important educational resource — our nation's teachers.

2013 Teacher Grant applications are now available! Apply now

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Place Is Important

“Place is important. Place is important.” Dr. Robert Siudzinski starts off saying this, in a whisper of a voice. This caught the attention of our TTEC group gathered at the Highland Center in the White Mountains. Why is my place along the AT important? What will I pull from my students to show this with them?
“Soil is sexy.” Not only did this get our attention and a laugh, but a few side comments as well. Joe Homer took us out to look at some very sexy soil as he showed how to cut through the soil layering and examine it as a geologist. This relates to the Rocks and Minerals unit I teach in 4th grade. Is there a way to include this in my project curriculum?
“Leave No Trace.” I thought this simply meant, “Carry in, Carry out.” I was surprised that there are actually 7 parts to this program, and will definitely be teaching these to my students, as well as “Hike Safe”.
After 2 days of much inquiry-based instruction, I left on Saturday with lots of ideas, lots of question to be hopefully answered this summer, and the desire to go for a hike. My daughter, Colleen, and our dogs, hit the AT on Sunday hiking up to the Rattle River shelter off of route 2 in Shelburne NH. As we hiked along my mind was spinning with possible project ideas. But I knew most importantly that I had found my place, and after all, “place is important”!

Post by Patricia Weathers
Edward Fenn School
Gorham, NH

Thursday, July 11, 2013


We have just launched our 2013 Video Contest and we want to know what makes you a part of the Appalachian Trail! The grand prize winner will have their video shown in theaters! 

Contest Overview
We are accepting video shorts, no longer than 3 minutes, which answer the question: How are you a part of the Appalachian Trail? 

First Place 
  • Video screened at the 2014 ATC Membership Drive
  • Custom ATC hammock, courtesy of ENO™
  • Featured in A.T. Journeys (Official magazine of the A.T.)
  • Video featured on the ATC’s social media pages (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Google+)
  • One-year ATC membership
Second Place 
  • ATC themed tote bag
  • Glow-in-the-dark water bottle
  • Featured in A.T. Journeys
  • One-year ATC membership
Third Place
  • ATC themed hat
  • Featured in A.T. Journeys
  • One-year ATC membership
  • Video Submission: Monday, July 8, 2013 – Sunday, September 15, 2013.                   
  • Voting Period: Monday, September 16, 2013 – Friday, November 8, 2013
  • Winners announced: Monday, November 11, 2013
To submit your video, visit and locate the “Video Contest” tab. You’ll find it just under our cover photo near “Photos” and “Events.”
To learn more, visit We look forward to receiving your video submissions!
Happy filming!
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Team

North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald