Last year I went on a search for environmental education classes for my crew. All three of my kiddos LOVE learning about nature, the outdoors, and our environment. Thanks to google, I found a program called Environthon. Now at that time, I thought Environthon would be a fun way for my kids to go a little more in depth with their environmental studies.
My mind was blown when I heard about all of the information that an Environthon program goes through. I decided to ask one of our instructors at Latta Plantation Nature Center her opinion on the Environthon program and our children. She thought our crew would do well, but she thought that they would need a full a year to prepare.
So in September of this school year, we pulled together a group of 7 kids to start an Environthon team. Our group of 7 middle schoolers met once a week to learn about aquatics, forestry, wild life, soils and current environmental issues. They hiked. They measured. They identified. They
learned how to take tests took practice tests. The class was intense but fun.
March 8th came fast! The day of truth. 6 of the 7 children went to compete at the area Environthon competition. At the competition, the kids work as a group of 5 (one person on the team is an alternate just in case someone is ill) to take a test. The test covered information on forestry, wild life, aquatics, soils and current environmental issues. We were excited that the kids were going and that they had made it through the class.
To our surprise, they qualified to compete at the state level Environthon! 7 more weeks of
studying meeting with friends weekly!
The state competition required a road trip with an over night stay. The kids had a blast hanging out together. The team spent Friday going to educational stations on each area covered to review for the test and of course, doing some team building activities like playing sharks and minnows and hanging out in their hotel rooms.
Saturday they headed to the testing stations. The state test humbled our team by showing them how much they still have to learn! They did not make the top 5, but they did well. As a parent, I couldn’t be more proud of the how hard they all worked and all that they learned.
Most states have Environthon programs. If you have a middle or high schooler who loves being outdoors, check it out!