Today we visited Seneca Ridge Middle School in Sterling, Virginia. We were guest teachers for the Ranger Steve afterschool program, and did a Leave No Trace program for 6th and 7th graders focusing on the “Leave What You Find” principle. There were 22 students and two amazing teachers. The program started off discussing what Leave No Trace meant to them, and ways they can lessen their impact on the environment. Afterwards we played a great game called “Stealing the WOW” which uses puzzles to illustrate sometimes not getting the whole story when pieces of the puzzle are missing, and then relating the puzzles to the environment. The students immediately saw the correlation, and how we can have a lasting impact in the backcountry when things in the environment are disturbed or even taken, like artifacts, or carvings in trees, or picking flowers. All the students really enjoyed the game, and understood the importance of leaving what you find. Afterwards we discussed alternatives to taking things in the environment, like taking picture, journaling, sketching, and even just having memories from beautiful things when we are in the outdoors. We had a great time with the students at Seneca Ridge, THANK YOU!
Now we are headed to West Virginia to the New River Rendezvous for an exciting weekend on educating the climbing community!
Alexis & Topher