The New Jersey School of Conservation welcomed the Jefferson Gold group for a trip of adventures and to learn about conservation. The kids got to step out of their comfort zone in the confidence course, explore the forest in survival/orienteering, learn about different habitats in questing, go back in time for Pioneer Life and to appreciate Stokes State Forest in Conservation Photography.
In survival/orienteering, kids got to learn how to use a compass and the importance of preparation for different situations that they may encounter. They start off learning the basics and different parts of the compass, as well as how to use the it to guide them through the woods when given different bearings. Along with using compasses to get through the forest, they learned how to read the trail markers to keep them on the right path. Along the way, they learned about the four resources for survival and their order of importance: air, shelter, water, food. They used the compass to find different points of interest then discussed resources, learned to build fires, built shelters, and worked together as a team.
Our questers went out on an adventure where they got to use their skills from survival to guide them through the forest with different stops along the way. The kids got to learn about the birds in the forest, how they interact with one another, and their habitat. Each station has a riddle to solve, they identified trees, herps, and different animal tracks. They worked as a team to get to their destination to get some medallions for all their hard work.
The kids all got a taste of what it is like to be a photographer for National Geographic when they were in Conservation Photography class. They learned about the different properties of photography, and then went out in the field taking picture. They all got to incorporate the different properties they learned and got to print and take home a picture of their choice taken while walking around the forest and along the stream.
Jefferson students got the chance to take part in the Confidence Course, which is different elements that built up their confidence and developed team support. The group learned the importance of self confidence as well as how important it is to build one another up so they are able to achieve more! The kids exceeded not only their own expectations, but the SOC staff’s expectations with how much they conquered!
When the kids stepped into DeGroat Cabin, they went on an adventure back in time to experience what life was like for the DeGroat family., They learned things such as how to chop wood, make corn bread, and even make their own butter. They learned about the construction of the cabin, the different family roles, and how different it was to live in that time compared with now.
The students in all the different classes were wonderful, always ready to take on the next adventure. They built up their confidence, learned new skills, and learned more about the environment and why conservation is important. The NJSOC Faculty and Staff look forward to Jefferson Gold returning next year for some more adventures!
Written by Anna-Marie Hope