From our friends at the Green Mountain Club:
The Green Mountain Club has launched www.LongTrailBound.org, an innovative outdoor education resource guide and community forum for Vermont educators.
“The Green Mountains are a fantastic outdoor classroom and a place for children to explore and learn” says Marge Fish of Londonderry, president of the Green Mountain Club. “The Long Trail Bound resource guide will help educators and youth develop a connection to the mountains and inspire students to become life-long outdoor learners and environmental stewards.”
Designed by a committee of Green Mountain Club volunteers and staff, the Long TrailBound website will feature twenty activities to be used in the classroom, the home, or on the trail. Topics include teaching outdoor skills, fostering stewardship and sense of place, and teaching about the mountain ecosystem. Today’s launch coincides with National Environmental Education Week.
Ripton teacher Susan Ogilvie, an educator who has utilized the Long Trail Bound activities, said, “I find the Long Trail Bound guide to be extremely useful in teaching my third and fourth grade students about the Long Trail. The lessons give each hike a focus making them a powerful learning experience.”
The website will serve as a community forum for educators across the state to share experiences, ideas and resources. A list of additional suggested resources and hikes will also be provided.
The activities are also being used by Green Mountain Club staff in a series of outdoor education programs with the Montessori School in Montpelier to teach students how to prepare for a hike, nutrition for the trail and map and compass skills. Club staff and volunteers will also continue to utilize these skills and techniques at camps, classrooms and events across the state.
The 10,000 member club’s mission statement itself explains: “The mission of the Green Mountain Club is to make the Vermont mountains play a larger part in the life of the people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail system and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains.”
“At a time when America fights to get kids outdoors and active, it is a no brainer that we invest in outdoor education both to better steward the land we love and support healthy living,” said Will Wiquist, executive director of the Green Mountain Club.
To introduce the guide to educators, the GMC will hold a two-day Long Trail BoundEducator Summit August 14-15 at the club’s visitor center in Waterbury Center, VT. Check out the new resource guide at www.longtrailbound.org.
Funding for the Long Trail Bound expansion was generously provided by the Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust, Harris and Frances Block Foundation, International Paper, Windham Foundation, Oakland Foundation, Patrick Foundation, and the 100on100 Relay.