Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Power of Maps

David Adamiak
TTEC - Mid Atlantic Cohort

In generating interest in the Appalachian Trail, I set up the amazingly huge map the was provided by the ATC.  With the help of the UMSTV Morning Show, an announcement was made requesting students that had hiked the trail to see me and together we would place a bubbled note on the map. It would include their name and pinpoint the location where they had hiked. In just a few short days, 15 students came to me.

Teachers also came to me and we “pinned” them too.  The biggest surprize came from our Assistant Principal.  She had hiked from Swatara Gap, PA to Springer Mountain, GA when she was 15.  That’s 1,176 miles!  She did this in a very nontraditional way by living off the land.  She carried a bow and arrow and used it to hunt with. She also ate berries to sustain herself.  Word is spreading about her endeavor.  Kids asked her what it was like.  She told them that she would not do it again the same way. She also told them that they should do it when they were older than 15 and use mail drops.  Some kids asked if she felt like Katniss from “Mockingjay”, because she used her bow to hunt.

Interesting enough, she is from PA and likes to pronounces “Appalachian” the southern version .

I ran into a student in the hallway yesterday.  He asked me when I was going to organize the Hiking Club.  I told him that I will be getting things started very soon.  It looks like the large map is generating interest afterall!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TTEC's Inspiration

Jessica Leach
Stearns High School
Millinocket, ME
2015 TTEC Cohort

Our final workshop in Vermont was a wonderful way to end my journey from the start in New Hampshire, which made me aware of what the Appalachian Trail can offer, now coming full circle to making it all possible. I never thought that this journey would take me to all these wonderful places, while slowly and purposefully, making me a steward of the Appalachian Trail.

I love the trail even though I have only been on a very small portion of it. The TTEC program is offered to teachers to facilitate their students to provide service learning projects while also getting them on the Appalachian Trail so they will become stewards of the trail for years to come. For me, TTEC has helped me become informed, inspired and motivated to become a steward myself.

I feel that I have a new job. As a member of my local community, a teacher, and an informed steward of the Appalachian Trail in Maine and Baxter State Park I can teach, communicate and offer lifelong skills through our outdoor environment. The three TTEC workshops started with one goal and has morphed into many goals-- something totally different for me physically, emotionally and educationally. I know I have the ability to give information, knowledge and the love of the trail to students and young adults to take with them for the rest of their lives.

My love for the trail and new lifelong friends on the Appalachian Trail are portrayed in my pictures here because of TTEC. I will be forever indebted to Delia Clark and all the Appalachian Trail employees.

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!

North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald